Hollow Leg – Murder EP (digital: Argonauta Records, 03 March 2017; cassette: Southern Druid Records, 16 June 2017; Crown, Murder Edition CD: Argonauta Records, 30 June 2017)
He Whose Ox is Gored – Paralyzer 7″ (Chain Letter Collective/Void Assault Records, 16 June 2017)
Cave of Swimmers – The Sun 7″ (Southern Druid Records, 03 July 2017)
Today I’ve got three different releases to share with you. Don’t worry, I won’t take up too much of your time — each of these has just two or three songs. But more importantly, all three come from bands who have had some pretty incredible previous releases we’ve already talked about: Hollow Leg, He Whose Ox is Gored, and Cave of Swimmers. So you can already be guaranteed these will all be great, too!
Oh yeah, and if you scroll on down to the comments section, you can take a peek at the dates for Hollow Leg‘s current tour which centers around an appearance at The Maryland Doom Fest on Saturday (24 June)!
Last year when we discussed Jacksonvillians Hollow Leg‘s album Crown, a strong comparison to High on Fire was emphasized, but also hints of sludge in New Orleansean, Georgian, and RVA flavors. The pair of tracks (approximately thirteen minutes altogether) contained on their new Murder EP show off more of the same: heavy stoner-sludge riffs for days, soulful heavy-bluesy guitar solos, harsh and deep roared and yelled vocals. And exactly the dark and ominous tone you would expect when one song is named for a group of crows, and the other is named for a single member of the crow family — both large black birds that have traditionally been associated with death and doom.
Like the Crown LP, this new material was also mixed by Sanford Parker, so it ends up sounding just as good as that 2016 album. In fact, their label Argonauta Records has decided to issue a new version of Crown on CD, which includes the two Murder songs as bonus tracks!
Not only have we reviewed prior He Whose Ox is Gored releases on this website, but just last month we shared the news about their brand-new 7″ single, in an article which also included the video of the song “Paralyzer.” As you will have come to expect from this group of Seattleites, this song features multiple cloudy layers of synth atmosphere partially obscuring the progressive-psychedelic-sludge underneath, full of confused yelling, resulting in a beautiful mess overall. The only entirely new material found on Paralyzer, this title track was recorded by the legendary Jack Endino — part of a Converse Rubber Tracks session.
The two other tracks found here were originally released on the Rumors 7″ from 2014, but here they’ve been remixed nearly beyond recognition by the the band’s friends and neighbors Newaxeyes. To be honest, I had no idea that remixing songs like this was still a thing, since I haven’t really heard much about people doing this since White Zombie were still around. But anyway — first we have “Buried Twice (NWXYS Slime Mix)” which scatters some sort of electronic doodads throughout the song, but otherwise retains much of its original character, particularly from a vocal standpoint, although the overall mix seems a bit squashed and, well, sounds like the concept of being buried has been taken somewhat literally. And lastly, “Void Assault (VOIDED Mix)” which features loads of atmospherics and ambient synth stuff, building up tension from chord change to chord change over the first four minutes or so; that tension never really gets released or resolved, but the track concludes with a gentle rhythmic patter made up of chopped up bits, presumably of vocals and synths from the original song.
Our final release today comes to us from the Miamian doom/traditional metal duo Cave of Swimmers. The 7″ record includes one new song, six-minute-long adventure “The Sun” — featuring plenty of the trademark operatic singing (occasionally harmonized in epic fashion) this group has become known for, soaring over a marathon of speed/thrash riffs (with plenty of groove thrown in for good measure), complete with a classic Dio-esque key change a little over a minute from the end.
Side “B” features a live version of “Hangman” — previously found on their 2013 self-titled record, and one of that album’s highlights (although this band’s releases tend to be entirely made up of highlights!). This particular performance of the song was recorded at Psycho Las Vegas in 2016, and — while the sound quality unfortunately seems a bit muddled — comes across as even a bit quicker, more energetic and vivacious than the original.
You can check out the tracks from Murder and Paralyzer using the Bandcamp players below. The live version of “Hangman” from The Sun is currently streaming at this location.
Buy Murder digitally here or on cassette here; pre-order the Crown, Murder Edition CD
here; get Paralyzer digitally here or the 7″ vinyl here; and pre-order The Sun 7″ here.
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