Album Review: DART BUMMIN LIZARD: The Red Flags

Coming back strong with their second release in the past year, The Red Flags are here to show that ain’t no quarantine gonna keep this flag burning any less bright!

On March 20, 2020, The Red Flags released their official second album, Dart Bummin Lizard. This album is everything I’ve come to expect from The Red Flags…and by that, I mean I’m always wrong with what I expect, but always pleasantly wrong. I should know by now that trying to guess what direction this band is going to go in is a futile point. The Red Flags are always creating new, exciting, unexpected, and unprecedented sounds, and Dart Bummin Lizard is a good figurehead to explain to the new listener what these rock n roll reptiles from Janesville are all about.

Mixing old school funk with classic rock and roll, The Red Flags come through yet again with this new record by putting their chaotic, and sometimes maniacal, experimental twist in the fires from the walls of their home studio.

Within the first second of the first track, “Danuh”, you get a less-than-fair warning for what a banger you’re about to be in for. I for one was not prepared for the amount of ear-fucking that this record made me endure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining!

My favorite song by The Red Flags, titled “There’s No”, has now FINALLY been recorded on this new record and I’m so excited about it! Anyone who has ever seen The Red Flags live knows this song as a solid staple of their set and with good reason. Personally I’ve seen them play more times than is probably considered healthy, and I have been waiting at least four years to be able to play this in my car!

Dart Bummin Lizard sounds like one long bop that refuses to stop; smells like one too many cheap beers and cigarettes; tastes like summer dirt under your toenails; and makes you feel like …

Well. It makes you feel like you’re not in quarantine from a pandemic that halted the entire economy and took away live concerts and put our whole scene on pause for an undetermined, but certainly unbearable amount of time.

I’m just saying.

Long story short, Dart Bummin Lizard is the exact pick-me-up that I think so many of us need right now. Gabe, Jonah and Abby have delivered above and beyond yet again. Not a bad effort at all, considering the world is ending and we are all losing our collective shit.

In short, I recommend blasting this record from a boombox stereo delicately placed over your shoulders on our way to overthrow the government.

20/20 darts in the pack, highly recommend.

Dart Bummin Lizard, as well as their first record, Summer Dirties, are both available to listen to, download, and buy physical CD’s at theredflags.bandcamp.com

Also make sure to check out their fanTASTIC homemade music videos for

“Dart Bummin Lizard” HERE

Cat Sullivan

Album Review: 5 R V L N 5 ‘The Black Mark’

Industrial Metal born from the underbelly of Chicago’s sprawling, urban landscape, 5 R V L N 5  (pronounced “surveillance”) is a solo/collaborative electronic based industrial project created by former Faces of the Bog guitarist/vocalist, Chuck Clybourne. Taking after the likes of influences such as Skinny Puppy, Ministry, and Godflesh 5 R V L N 5 creates an atmosphere that is unnerving, perverse, and dark. Pounding beats and despondent lyrics drive the tone of the music, inducing hypnotic chaos.

We were fortunate enough to get a sneak peak into their first album, The Black Mark, which is officially set to release March 13th, 2020.

It can be difficult to find just the right type of extreme metal for you, but the genre itself has quite the cult following! For those of you who are always on the search for something heavier- this is the band for you! It’s been awhile since I have really heard of anyone coming out with new industrial metal, so it’s cool to see that someone is taking a step forward and bringing life back to the semi-lost metal genre!

The Black Mark is 5 tracks (coincidentally as they have 5’s in their band name) and will be on the way soon! But, for now, you can check out their single release for their track “FLESH” which is in the video link above! Be sure to follow 5 R V L N 5 online and catch them at their release party! Event link HERE!

Don Niesen
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: SUPERNAUT ‘The Green’

Hello again music readers and enthusiasts! Another jam-tastic album review here for you-SUPERNAUT has released their album The Green with fat tone and fuzz galore! Let’s dive into this one together shall we?

Track one-‘Spacewreck’ starts off with an opening hum and undertone of the intro really builds up in a subtle yet tasteful manor. It then takes a hard right turn into a straight forward punk-esque swing. The drummer really knows how to accent the little things on this album; the combination of dramatic intent and reverb really brings you right up front- even through your headphones. Topped off with a super tasty solo-you get a very organic vibe. The second track ‘Dream Eater’ is definitely much more progressive in ways, like the groove and dynamic in their composition. The quick wittily licks and ‘riffy’ rhythms shows you what the band is capable of standing them right long side of groovy-doom style bands such as The Sword and Redfang.

‘Third Circle’ is next and the first thing I can say I love about this track is how much voice the bass has. I can’t get over the way the band members of Supernaut stay in perfect harmony throughout. From the guitars’ fuzz in complimented by the bass fuzz; to the layering of the vocals-they really pull it together “Sound as a Pound” The slick blues licks and bass runs are solid as a rock, sliding right into a classic doom-styled breakdown adding yet another layer to Supernaut’s dynamic. “Honey Mountain” is a bit more on the jazzy side. I dig the idea of having a short ambient instrumental. Sometimes these tracks can seem a bit pointless to impatient listeners, but I love to embrace these short james and use them to build context to their albums as a whole.

“Fade Out” maintains a calm vibe while having a busy nature. It makes me really want to see their drummer in action especially. These is so much going on underneath the rest of the instruments that I feel I’d have to actually see the rhythm section live to catch it all. Side note: Nice use of cowbell!! The build and dives of this song are just gross in all the best ways naturally leaving us with a fade out- nice.

“Crimson Sea” has a lot of grind. It does indeed put you in the right mindset according to the first impression given by the title of the tune. Second by second the vocal desperation grows and draws you deeper and deeper. “Buglung”..well first of all HELL YEAH MAN! The crazy almost acid-rock jam style of this track is pure gold. As a fan of Primus, Opeth, Neck and a lot of other crazy artists; I am in love with everything this track has to offer.

We have arrived at the title track of the album “The Green” which has a Twilight Zone vibe in the chorus which really gives the lyrics power. I also feel a Druid vibe in there as well. It almost sounds as though the guitarist shapes their tone a little differently on each tune. I’ve always admired that and wished I had that kind of patience myself! “Owl” is a super smooth southern-blues adventure. I’ve always been inspired by tunes like this, especially lyrically. The attention to detail and an ability to personify is an art form.

We finish out the album with the track “Iron Goddess Of Mercy” There is so much attitude packed into this jam and the devil is definitely in the details on this one! The way the tune is brought up and down throughout the track with technicality and grace is very quality-“Go big or go home!” as they say, and Supernaut has proven to be nothing short of “Big” on this jam. They end this album with great intensity!

All in all- I honestly enjoyed this album in its entirety. I have yet to come across a band with this kind of nostalgic dynamic before. The Green as a whole made me think of many types of old-school down right dirty rock n roll artists. “Rock n’ roll is coming back baby!” as my friend Jeff Sandbom called it- and I stand by that fact!

Thank all of you who are reading this and I hope you are all jamming this album with me! You can find it for yourself- HERE!

Follow Supernaut in the links below!
Facebook
Instagram

Thrash fast friends!
-Mitch Fulcer

Album Review: BRUME ‘Rabbits’

The winter outside is frightful this November- so it’s time to hunker down, get your favorite warm beverage, and get ready for Rabbits! This release follows the epic 2018 album-Rooster which received endless recognition and praise! San Francisco doom-power trio, BRUME has brought us to our knees once again with 5 powerful tracks that are sure to make your heart ache in all the right ways.

The first track, ‘Despondence’ takes your hand and guides you into this album. There is powerful mystique as this track builds; Susie’s vocals grab hold of your soul and the instruments lock up together perfectly. ‘Scurry’ is more of what I would consider to be an upbeat sort of track, as it reflects that there is darkness in times of sorrow, but there cannot be darkness without the light. We all have experienced hard times, but we know that we will find our way in our own time. This track seems to have a quicker pace. The distortion just rings beautifully throughout and creates a comforting and nostalgic sound.

‘Blue Jay’ sounds like a dark fairy tale as a woman is struggling between love and woe. A blue jay seems to be offering her advice as her ‘inner voice’. This track features piano and cello as well which creates an entirely unique atmosphere. This track is the perfect climax of the album! ‘Lament’ is soft and atmospheric- creating a sort of calm in the melancholic state of mind. It becomes heavier as it progresses and, at times, this song has a grunge-like sound and attitude to it.

‘Audocrats Fools’ finishes off this release strong and heavy. The guitar riffs carry you off into another realm as the drums steady the pace. I feel like I am wandering through a forest of the mind as one searches through their own memories to discover peace within themselves.

In a way, this album is much like following that white rabbit into Wonderland. It’s lyrical content is full of themes I personally find relatable, such as sadness & self-doubt, anxiety and depression, toxic relationships, and what feels like endless melancholy of the soul; but ultimately, although these songs sound sad, they are actually happy, because when you catch up to the rabbit, you discover that all you needed in the end was to lead yourself into the light. Not because the rabbit lead you there, as it would seem, but because you pursued it.

Rabbits is available now! Get your digital, CD or LP copy from  Magnetic Eye Records HERE! Be sure to follow Brume on Facebook and Instagram as well!

Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: HUNGER MOON ‘Fallen Pantheon’

Hunger Moon is a two-man Doom/Post Metal project from Janesville, WI. The band was formed by Avery Stage and Ryan Thomas in 2016. Recently they have released their album ‘Fallen Pantheon’. This album is based around themes from Greek Mythology and expands upon the bands unique doom sound.

Doom metal has been on the rise in the local and underground metal music scene lately and Hunger Moon is another excellent example of this! Their melodic tones capture the imagination and breathe new life into the old Greek Mythologies. Each track has its own style and groove, however, they all share a common ground; they balance brutality and tranquility. This album is 3 tracks which makes for a quick and easy listen. You can check out ‘Fallen Pantheon’ on Band Camp HERE or on YouTube. Experience track 2 “Eos” below!

Track list
1. Astrapios
2.Eos
3. The Fall Of Kronos

The band continues to write new music and expand the horizons of metal to create a unique sound to the group and is playing live shows. Be sure to Follow them online HERE!

-Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: CANDLEMASS ‘The Door to Doom’

Doom metal pioneers Candlemass have taken the metal world by storm with their 12th album, The Door to Doom. Released on February 22nd, through Napalm Records, it is their first album in over three decades to feature the band’s original vocalist, Johan Längqvist. Throughout the years, Candlemass have proven to hold consistency in their music, and subsequently their fan base, without sounding formulaic or overdone. The Door to Doom stays true to that statement, and its gloomy, dark atmosphere proves that Candlemass is a force to be reckoned with.

Right from the first track ‘Splendor Demon Majesty,’ the songs are noticeably reminiscent of the classic, old-school Candlemass that everyone knows and loves. The music itself is flawless, with guest work by Tony Iommi on the third track, ‘Astorolus – The Great Octopus.’ Additionally, Länqvist’s vocal work is remarkable; his powerful, distinct voice soaring overtop the heavy riffage of Lars Johansson and Mats Bjorkman. If there were a definition of what doom metal should be, ‘The Door to Doom’ would be it.

Formed in 1984 in Stockholm, Sweden, Candlemass is often credited as the originators of the doom metal genre, with albums such as Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall being ranked among the greatest doom metal records of all time. Their unique blend of darkness and melody is one that is easily recognizable and often imitated. As they are currently embarking on a tour of Europe, they show no signs of letting up on their reign of darkness and doom.

All in all, Candlemass’ 12th full length album is masterfully composed, dark, and promising. ‘The Door to Doom’ has successfully captured all of the things that make doom metal great, and therefore will be remembered for what it is – a truly amazing piece of work.

Tracklist
1. Splendor Demon Majesty
2. Under the Ocean
3. Astorolus-the Great Octopus
4. Bridge of Tte Blind
5. Death’s Wheel
6. Black Trinity
7. House of Doom
8. The Omega Circle

Line Up
Mats Levén, Mats “Mappe” Björkman
Lars Johansson, Leif Edling
Jan Lindh
Per Wiberg

Label
Napalm Records

Follow Candlemass online HERE

– Zach Schmitt
Edited by Samantha Crocker

ALBUM REVIEW: Blackcat Manor ‘From Here On Out’

Blackcat Manor is one of those rare finds of proof that hardcore punk is still alive. Hailing from Freeport, Illinois, the guys in Blackcat Manor do a really fine job of melding progressive rock and punk rock. On January 11, 2019, they released their second album, “From Here On Out”, a driving and exciting five-track tour de force.

Track 1: Sun to the Shore

“But with a vengeful heart, you better dig two graves
See when the better half falls, six feet for the enraged
Said from unseen shores, you try to pull away
But never mind, you better dig two graves, you better dig two graves”

Right away, I am picking up some major Suicidal Tendencies vibes–I’m sold from the first couple riffs. To me, this sounds like a redemption song, a song about getting back on your feet after being knocked on your ass one too many times, a song about –most importantly– revenge. The world be damned if you don’t get what you’re desperately searching for.

Track 2: Evidence to Burn

“You see the trouble within for honor, for duty
The trouble within, see the trouble within
Could you end your friend, could you end your friends?
Could you end your friend…
Go ahead and pull the trigger, go ahead and move your finger
Tell me could you end your friends?…”

This song is intense. Someone is out for blood and they don’t care who knows it. It seems that a former friend has run one too many strikes, and what is there left to do but burn the bridge, and all the evidence of the history thereof?

Track 3: Hats Off to You

“Really thought it was the best thing for you,
I’ve thought about it, have you?”

I’m starting to notice a theme here. Seems this whole album is about committing a terrible crime and covering up the evidence. Was this all necessary? Could there have been some other way out? It seems there was only one way, this was the best way… Have you made a mistake?

Track 4: Conflict Resolution

“I’m gonna cancel my subscription to all your issues…”

“See, its arithmetic that just can’t be one, it’s a numbers game…”

I really admire all the clever metaphors in this song, this is a true masterpiece of playing on words. Lots of people can talk the talk, but not many can cash the check that their mouths write so easily. This song is really fantastic at calling out those kinds of fucks.

Track 5: Hammerclaw

“You know that feeling before you kneel, where anger subsides
Say ingest how you feel,
Your emotionless is your broken-ness and distress spells
SOS SOS SOS”

It’s all just energy in an empty space with no memory, no memory…”

What a fantastic way to round out the story of this album. Some betrayal, some actions taken, some actions only spoken of, some things we can never speak of again. What does it matter? It’s all just energy in empty space, everyone is in exile in one way or another. From now on, you’ll just be a memory, but who will remember you?

This whole album was an awesome hardcore concept ride from start to finish. To hear the full album, it is available for purchase at this link along with Blackcat Manor’s previous album, Relentless.

Blackcat Manor will also be playing Maybash in Rio, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 25th! Get the full schedule and details for Maybash on Facebook here.

Get connected with Blackcat Manor:

Twitter: @BlackcatManor

Facebook: facebook.com/blackcatmanorband

Website: blackcatmanorband.com

-Cat Sullivan
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: EUGENIC DEATH ‘Under The Knife’

In 2014 the recording process for Eugenic Death’s second album Under the Knife began. Geoff Lapenta was recruited to perform drums on the album. Jonathan McCanless on guitars and bass, and Keith Davis once again on vocals.

The second album took four years to complete and was recorded in many different locations around the country, including The Lodge out of Indianapolis and Bunker Sound out of Chapel Hill, NC. Engineered by Steven Raets and John E Wooten IV. Mixed by Steven Raets and John E Wooten IV. Mastered by Steven Raets. Cover art created by Marija Vilotijevic, model: Courtney Simonds. 

This seven-track thrasher from Heaven And Hell Records blasts in full speed with “Indoctrinate.” It begins with the classic guitar shredding and fast-paced beats that we all love! Get ready to jump into the pit with this one! “The Citizen Patrol” has that Exodus feel for sure, which makes sense as they listed them as one of their influences along with Testament, Slayer, Megadeth, and Nuclear Assult as well as a band from our corner of the map- Morbid Saint!

I can really feel the Megadeth in the intro to this next track- “The Devil’s Tower.” I’m really digging the groove of the guitar in this one- there is a lot of great hooks as well as a super sweet leads! About a third of the way through, the vocals come in, and the thrash-pace picks up to full speed! “The Witching Ground” is a dark and brutal tune about witch craft. I’m not sure if its the witch in me, or the thrasher in me, but either way this one is one is on top of the list for sure!

“Hara Shiva” draws you in with a melodic chant and a groovy acoustic lick. This tune is certainly different than the rest but a jam none the less. It’s an interesting way to break things up for a bit. “Aghori Sadhus” kicks up the dust in the pit once again. This one is a head banger for sure!

We finish out this release with the self-titled track “Under the Knife.” This track is like if Slayer wrote a song for Anthrax; it has the thrash influence of Slayer’s style but with the theme of something I feel like Anthrax would cover. The album cover in itself sort of reminded me of Madhouse as well. This tune stands strong and is a great finish for this album! As we reach the end, it breaks cleanly into a groovy and majestic ending-warping the last note. A great metaphor for the world as a whole I feel. Under the Knife is definitely one for your thrash collection that’s for sure! I would love to get a copy of this on vinyl!

Get your copy HERE

Track List
1. Indoctrinate
2. The Citizen Patrol
3. The Devil’s Tower
4. The Witching Ground
5. Hara Shiva
6. Aghori Sadhus
7. Under the Knife

EUGENIC DEATH is:
Jonathan McCanless – guitar/bass
Keith Davis – vocals
Geoff Lapenta – drums

Find Eugenic Death Online!
Facebook
Bandcamp

Emily Mae
Edited By Samantha Crocker

Album Review: CHOUT-‘Dogwater’

Chout is a Rock band from South Chicago formed in 2018 by vocalist Brendan Maier, guitarist Matt Morgan, bassist Rocco Gilsdorf, and drummer Joel Matinez. Childhood friends since elementary school, they are truly a band of brothers. The four have been writing songs together since the age of 13, drawing influences from all realms of the musical spectrum. While remaining faithful to the 90’s influence, Chout combines both classic metal riffs and modern upbeat songwriting, with a new progressive sound.

When I first busted into this album, as a lover of 90’s grunge and the overall 90’s influence of the music scene especially- I was left in absolute SHOCK!

ALICE IN CHAINS RE-IMAGINED!? FUCKING YES PLEASE!

Chout shines brightly with experience and talent unlike any other! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and they are from the Midwest no less!?? The music scene here really IS in full bloom! How do we get these guys to Wisconsin to play for us!?? …That’s for another time.

We begin this release with their single-“Seasons” which you can check out for yourself below! I was captivated by the lyrical content in this song- dripping with emotion. The music is so tight, and I just can’t get enough. The guitar solo just soars through to the finish so beautifully. They really sell you on every single note, and it holds you from start to finish. This album has my full attention from TRACK 1!

“So Long Long Gone” has an upbeat swing, creating the perfect ‘in your face’ attitude to this very relatable track. Leave those haters in the dust my friends and move along to bigger and better things; they’ll be sorry! I love the atmosphere created by the guitar effects, and the guitar solos are seriously giving me life. This track has such a strong presence!

“Restless Heart” has that good ole’ Grunge-gloom that we all love and very much miss. This tune is a slow, heavy rocker. It takes me to those heavy- soul felt moments that we experienced back in Alice In Chain’s releases like “Frogs” one of my MOST favorite songs of theirs for sure!

“All Has Been Done” brings out the acoustics for a stunning performance. The vocal harmonies, the casual strumming patterns all brought together with that smooth bluesy tone– DAMN! Where has this band been my whole life!?

“Pick Me Up” picks the pace back up again. This jam really gets you moving and is perfect for the climax of this album! This the instrumental spotlight of the album as well. Here, we really get a chance to zoom in on what each musician is bringing us- and it is fantastic!

“Out Of Time” is next in line..okay..are we SURE this isn’t Layne Staley on vocals!? Like, where my conspiracy theorists at? The lyrics really resonate with me in this track especially; the chorus is catchy and powerful:

Stare into my hollowed mind
(In the sunless place I hide) 
Only cause I’m out of time 
(Give away what once was mine) 

As the album begins to reach its conclusion we reach the track “Thin Ice” which is a smooth and heavy jam. That blends perfectly into the final track of this album “To Lose” This tune has a vibe all its own, but it fits well as a conclusion to this breath-taking release from Chout. The harmonizing vocals in this one hit your soul in just the right spot and are complemented by a beautifully placed guitar solo. The last note echoes out to the finish, and it leaves you hanging on until the very last breath.

Dogwater is an incredible experience. I loved every single second of this album. Every track stands as well on its own as it does when all together. For fans of Alice In Chains- especially releases like Dirt and their other early work, I can not express enough how much this album is for you. Chout is a band that we will hear a lot from in the future; I can guarantee that. I can’t wait to see the places they will go!

Get your copy of Dogwater HERE

Track List
1. Seasons
2. So Long Long Gone
3. Restless Heart
4. All Has Been Gone
5. Pick Me Up
6. Out Of Time
7. Thin Ice
8. To Lose

Line Up
Brendan Maier (Vocalist)
Matt Morgan (Guitarist)
Rocco Gilsdorf (Bassist)
Joel Matinez (Drums)

Find Chout Online in the links below!
Facebook
BandCamp

Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: SMOULDER ‘Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring’

Inspired by bands such as Candlemass, Reverend Bizarre, Blind Guardian, Procession, Altar of Oblivion and, Black Oath, Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring is the result of countless songwriting sessions and intercontinental file-sharing. With lyrics provoking the imagination while testing the mind, SMOULDER emboldens the listener with literary and fantasy-driven stories with six songs of climatic and challenging epic, doom crossed with elements of power metal!

“Llian of Garathorm” is the epic introduction to this six-track masterpiece. With thundering bass and commanding drum beats, we are drawn into the tale of Llian. Marching into battle with warriors against the rifts of time and destiny; this tale cracks Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring wide open. “The Sword Women” has an intro that flawlessly blends from “Llian Of Garathorm.” This track has hints of doom in it as it treads slowly through the rhythms; the guitar is lightly dancing on top while being lead by soaring vocals. The guitar solo carries us through to the ending of this very compelling tune.

“Bastard Steel” is easily my most favorite track on this album. I can’t get enough of that super catchy guitar hook! This tune reminds me so much of everything I always loved about Iron Maiden. This track was an instant add to my playlist. I love everything about it. It’s fast, powerful, dramatic and triumphant. I feel the climax of battle really come to life here.

“Voyage Of The Sunchaser” continues us through this journey with a slow intro that picks up as the track progresses. The bass in this track is really brought forward; it compliments the guitar solo very well also. Things slow down once again for the ending of this one until we are left with only the drums. This tune is really dynamic and thrashy. “Shadowy Sisterhood” kicks things in with an instant guitar-heavy lead. I can feel vibes of Maiden once again strongly in the bass style. That familiar ‘pop’ always brings me life! This is a really epic and interesting tale of the occult. Witches, shadows, demons, magic, sacrifice, and REVENGE!

We reach the final track of this masterpiece- “Black God’s Kiss.” This one is slow, heavy and full of the darkness you love and crave. It feels like it is spun from the musical clothe that gave life to Black Sabbath and Dio- I love it! Tales of vengeance, adventure, and Satan always unlock a special place in my heart. This tune certainly focuses on the ‘Obscene Evil’ portion of the title as well. Throughout this entire album, I could feel it all- the conflicts, the rises, and the falls. It was all put together beautifully. I know this won’t be the last we hear from Smoulder and I am looking forward to what they will be bringing to the world of power metal!

Track List for Times Of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring
1. Llian of Garathorm
2. The Sword Women
3. Bastard Steel
4. Voyage of the Sunchaser
5. Shadowy Sisterhood
6. Black God’s Kiss

You can find more on Smoulder in the links below!
Facebook
Bandcamp

-Emily Mae
Edited by Samantha Crocker