Fister / Teeth Split; Fister / Dopethrone Split (2016)


Fister / TeethSplit (Broken Limbs Recordings, 29 April 2016)



Fister / DopethroneSplit (Riff Dealer Records, 11 May 2016)


It’s Monday and I’m tired and crabby and I don’t really want to be here and I just want to punch everything and everyone right in the damn face. It probably wouldn’t be advisable to do so, because there’s a good chance I’d end up losing my job — and despite what you might think based on how much bitching and complaining I do, that would probably not be a good thing. So as per usual, I’m stuck keeping all that annoyance and rage bottled up inside, with no real outlet through which to channel it. The best I can do is try to calm my nerves by grabbing a pair of headphones and blocking the whole world out with something loud and angry and particularly ugly. In fact, looking ahead at the schedule for the rest of this week, #SpoilerAlert, there’s going to be a lot of angry and ugly going on. So stay tuned for that.

To start off the week, we’re going to visit with St. Louis ultra-doom trio Fister. It’s been nearly three years since I wrote about their Gemini album on the day they were coming here to Pittsburgh with their friends and neighbors The Lion’s Daughter. At that time I had mentioned that there was quite a bit of stuff in the Fister discography, including a split record with The Lion’s Daughter, and that I had chosen to listen to Gemini (and share it with you folks) simply because it had been their most recent release at the time. Well those guys have continued to be pretty active since then, both touring and recording, and I figured it’s about time we checked back with them.

In particular, I thought we could take some time to check out a couple more records that have come out over the past two months. (There’s much more out there on Bandcamp, if you’re curious, but for practical reasons I had to limit myself to two releases to discuss today.) The first will be a split 7″ with Teeth from California, and the other is a split with Dopethrone from Montréal.


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Two Reviews: DRCARLSONALBION and Tumbleweed Dealer (2014)

Gold Front

DRCARLSONALBIONGold (16 June 2014)



Tumbleweed DealerWestern Horror (23 June 2014)


Good afternoon, everyone. Today I’ve got two different albums to introduce to you, which coincidentally have a common thread between them. Released just a week apart, one of these was conceived as the soundtrack to an imaginary western movie, while the other features incidental music that was recorded for the score of an actual western film.

Both of these are purely instrumental affairs, and they’re both more on the mellow side. If that sounds appealing to you, then there’s a pretty good chance one or the other may be right up your alley. So just pour yourself a tequila sunrise, grab a pack of rolling papers, kick off your boots and relax.


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Get to Know: Cenobite (Review of ‘The Black’ EP)


CenobiteThe Black (05 July 2011)

Okay, first of all I feel like I need to clear this up right away: regardless of how it might sound, a “Cenobite” is not a unit for measuring computer memory. Don’t go into your local electronics store and try to buy a 50 Cenobite hard drive or something.

No, as my research has taught me, the word stems from the Greek roots κοινός (“common”) and βίος (“life”), and refers to individuals involved in the practice of communal living, as typified by Buddhist or Christian monks.

Researching a little bit further, I found that the name was also used for the race of formerly-human beings who live in an extra-dimensional void (but can be summoned to earth through a portal created by solving a complex puzzle-box) in the Hellraiser series of movies and comic books.

As I understand it, these creatures were named Cenobites because their apparently-religious-like devotion to hedonism and sadomasochism had ultimately transformed them into a state where they had completely lost all semblance of humanity, just like monks’ religious-like devotion to — well, to religion — inspires them to give up all earthly possessions and pleasures and enter a communal living environment. I guess.

I’d heard of the Hellraiser series before, but never actually knew anything about it until I read all this stuff earlier today. The funny thing is, the brief overview of the characters, and the synopsis of the first film’s plot that I read, both sounded awfully familiar to me — when I remembered that there was a Mortician song that incorporated a lengthy sample (as many of their songs do) where they talked about these demon-like beings who’d been summoned by using a box, and then they wanted to take somebody back to another dimension of hellish torture, someone who had escaped from their clutches previously. So I poked around a bit more, and found that the song “Hell on Earth” (from Zombie Apocalypse) did, in fact, make use of a sample from the original Hellraiser movie.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes a quick search on Wikipedia can turn into a whole chain of discovery?

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Free Music Alert: Azoic – Gateways


AzoicGateways (Self-released, 20 June 2012)

Hello readers! Since it’s been 90-whatever degrees here in Pittsburgh lately, and I’ve been sweating my ass off, sometimes it’s nice to think about people who live in other parts of the world, where it isn’t so infernally hot and humid this time of year. Now I’ll admit, I don’t really know that much about the climate in Iceland, but c’mon! They’ve got “ice” in their name! Even just thinking about that makes me feel better.

I don’t know what the weather is like wherever you are right now, Dear Reader, but in any case, wouldn’t your week start out a lot better if you had some new, FREE music to listen to?

Yeah, I thought so. I can help you out with that.


A short while ago, I was contacted by a nice Icelandic gentleman, who kindly pointed me in the direction of the band Azoic. Right around the same time, our friend Ben who maintains the Church of the Riff blog also contacted me, mentioning that I should check out this great band. If that wasn’t already enough, right after that I discovered that Phro, who writes short fiction on his own blog PhroMetal, had written about this same band in a guest post over on No Clean Singing!

Well with that many endorsements, I became really curious and had to check these guys out for myself. I’m glad I did, and I think you will be too. Late last month they announced that they were releasing the album to be freely downloadable, so keep on reading and I’ll tell you where to get it.

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Just Released: Dead Guys – Duties


Dead GuysDuties (self released, 02 June 2012)

Hey there, folks. How’s it going? (For the record, that question isn’t always rhetorical — if the mood ever strikes you, you can feel free to hit me with some feedback using the comments section at the bottom of each post!)

It’s Saturday, and I’m in sort of a mellow mood, myself. It’s been a long week, and we especially tend to get pretty busy at work as we get closer to the end of the month — hooray for accounting — with the peak usually coming about a week before month-end, so in other words, approximately yesterday. I wouldn’t say that what I do is particularly difficult or strenuous, but sometimes it can be very mentally taxing or feel overwhelming at times. So like I said, I’m basically in the mood for relaxing this weekend.

I’ve mentioned before about how sometimes I need to step outside of the “metal music” box, and treat my ears to something a little different. I’d wager that’s true about everybody: it’s hard to listen to nothing but amps turned up to eleven, pounding drums, and screaming vocals all day every day. Sometimes you need some variety in your life, and for me, today is one of those days.

So I’ve got some mellow bluesy rock to share with you today — but of course I don’t expect all of you readers to be feeling exactly the same way I am when I write these posts! That’s why there’s a whole archive of stuff out there for you to check out (about 193 articles not including this one); surely there’s something there that’ll tickle your fancy. And then the next time you’re feeling like you’re in the mood for some mellow bluesy rock, you can come back to this one. Or even better — I’ll give you the chance to download this EP for free, and then you can hang on to it to listen to anytime you choose!

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