MA stoner rock/doom metal outfit Elder impressively reinvents itself with a more progressive sound on Reflections of a Floating World.
Black Mountain returns with a solid rock record that's equal parts heavy psych and sci-fi synth.
Savannah, GA sludge metal outfit Baroness returns with the latest installment in their color-coded album series, Purple.
With the new addition of a bassist filling the sound of Here in the Deadlights, Portland trio Wizard Rifle seems to finally be on their way to some international recognition. Although not the heaviest, nor the most progressive, nor even the most unique sounding heavy rock group, Wizard Rifle draws their influence from several 70s rock and punk bands, which neatly arranges itself into a thick mesh of sound, founded mostly on the energetic dual singing and playing from drummer Sam Ford and guitarist Max Dameron. If one thing can be said, these guys are seriously tight, bouncing from riff to riff, dynamic to dynamic, with as much ease as such a noisy plethora of sonance will allow. Often compared to King Crimson or Misfits, Here in the Deadlights sounds more like an early Uriah Heep album, sludgy, but playing heavily with volume and movement. Track after track seems to be an epic little escapade in its own right, building up into a crescendo of churning guitar lines and drum riffs, moving inch by careful inch towards the refined heavy rock sound they constantly seem to be searching for.
- Fin Worrall
Megaton Leviathan is the Portland-based musical project of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrew James Costa. Back in September, the act put out its sophomore full-length Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell, which consists of three lumbering pieces that smack of Godspeed You! Black Emperor with stoner rock and doom metal infusions. With this album, Megaton Leviathan comes off kind of like a bolder and more extravagant Pallbearer, so if you have the same reservations about that band as we've had, you may well come away from this project very satisfied.
Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell is out now via Seventh Rule.
With some additional vocals from Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi, Earth embarks on another gloomy, psychedelic, guitar-led journey.
As Fuzz, Ty Segall and Charlie Moothart bring the incredibly high level of distortion and energy you'd expect from a Ty-affiliated album. However, there are a slew of different factors keeping this record from sticking out in Ty's ever-growing discography: production, songwriting, vocals. All of these things keep Fuzz from feeling like a truly distinct moment--even though Ty and Charlie are shooting for an entirely different style of rock on this record. While I did like much of what Fuzz had to offer, the lack of finer details and ambition keep this LP from having much shelf life for me, honestly.
With ...Like Clockwork, Queens of The Stone Age pulls together their dreariest album yet, but don't forget to deliver plenty of badass alt rock numbers in the process.