Let’s dive right in, shall we? And we’ll go through them in alphabetical order…
Ak’chamel, The Giver Of Illness ‘The Totemist’
Oh man, I bet Ak’chamel, The Giver Of Illness are reconsidering the latest iteration of their seemingly ever evolving name (aka Ak’chamel, The Ecstatic Brotherhood of Nux Vomica; Ak’chamel, The Ecstatic Brotherhood of Anima Mundi, etc…) These two beings from Texas are the party band on the deep psych-folk train, vibing on the same frequency as Sun City Girls and The Master Musicians Of Bukkake. Lots of bells, chanting, and drones, with the perquisite Middle Eastern/Indian sounding jams and a surprise detour into what I’d call ‘border exotica’. There’s a definite New Weird America circa 2004 thing going on here. It’s well timed as that whole scene seems to be having a mini-resurgence.
Bruxa Maria ‘The Maddening’
How many ways can an album be heavy? In the case of The Maddening, at least nine. Almost every song is heavy in a different way. There’s My War style crushing sludge; primo thrashing/grinding that lands somewhere between Slayer and Brutal Truth; washes of drone and noise; all held together by Gill Dread’s wild voice. A lot of bands try to pull of this kind of syncretic heaviness, but it rarely gels. Here, it does and it makes for what might be one of the best albums of the past five years.
Casual Nun ‘Resort For Dead Desires’
Whoooooaaarggggh! From the same scene as Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs and Luminous Bodies, Casual Nun come at you with the relentless forward motion of the best Can songs; Sabbath meets Hawkwind meets High Rise guitars; and Gibby Haynes (but much less annoying) style vox. Heavy psych doesn’t get much better.
Gaythiest ‘How Long Have I Been On Fire?’
Gaythiest drop big riffs and even bigger hooks. In the riff department they have a lot in common with sometime labelmates Sandrider in that like Sandrider’s Jon Weisnewski, Gaythiest singer/guitarist Jason Rivera is an absolute riff monster. In the hook department they’re running in parallel with Torche and the more melodic SST alumni. I’m willing to bet Rivera has more than a couple of All records in his collection. This is one of those records that will have you throwing the horns and singing along like a fool.
Moon Destroys ‘Maiden Voyage’
Speaking of Torche, Moon Destroys is a duo featuring former Torche (and Cavity) guitarist Juan Montoya and ex-Royal Thunder drummer Evan DiPrima. They have a proggy yet melodic sludge thing happening, not far removed from the more recent Mastodon albums (that Tory Saunders guests on a track, solidifies the connection.) The highlight for me is the Michael Moorcock/Elric nod Stormbringer, with Cynic’s Paul Masvidal on vocals. That song alone is worth the price of admission.
WuW ‘Rétablir L’Eternité’
Epic. Vast. Expansive. I could go on but will spare everyone the hyperbole. One of the very few post-metal/experimental albums on par with Grails’ Doomsdayer’s Holiday. That Bruce Lamont guests is icing on the cake. I want to see them live.
Scribed by: Neddal Ayad