|Whispering World||CVI|| |
|Black Water Vision (Acoustic)||Black Water Vision (Acoustic)|| |
|Parsonz Curse||CVI|| |
|Mouth of Fire||Royal Thunder|| |
|Bring Me Darkness||Set The Dial|| |
|Redline||Taste The Sin|| |
|Fixed in the Ice||Passing Through Purgatory|| |
|A Horse Called Golgotha||Blue Record|| |
|Wanderlust||The Red Album|| |
|Jake Leg||Blue Record|| |
|Running Red||Static Tensions|| |
|Don't Look Back||Spiral Shadow|| |
|To Earth||L'autrichienne|| |
|Surface Tension||I Name You Destroyer|| |
Atlanta, GA's female-fronted blues-metal troupe bare some serious soul on their first proper full-length. Debuting a stellar EP in 2011, introducing the gorgeous, gritty voice of bassist and frontwoman Mlny Parsonz, Royal Thunder return on CVI with more clarity, showcasing Parsonz's croons and shouts atop thick Sabbath-ian guitars and a subtle southern groove. The slow-build of the smoldering 7-minute opener "Parsonz Curse" sums up all their strengths: catchy vocal melodies, satiating riffs and an intricate structure that slithers a serpentine path, meandering in and out of epic instrumental passages while consistently hooking you right back in. More long-form standouts include "Shake and Shift" and "Blue," while "Whispering World" and "Black Water Vision" simply stun in shorter time.
– Jen Guyre, Google Play
The first Clutch studio release in over two years, Strange Cousins from the West is their ninth studio effort; their second recorded with producer J. Robbins at his Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, MD; and their first original studio release on their self-owned label, Weathermaker Music. If you're familiar with Clutch at this point in the band's career (after almost 20 years), there aren't too many surprises; it's another album filled with greasy, bluesy, down-home stoner rock. One slight variation this time around is that keyboardist Mick Schauer isn't on board -- bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, guitarist Tim Sult, and vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon recorded as a four-piece -- and the lack of a Hammond organ and the stripped-down production give the album a rawer, more organic, and more spatial feel. This leaves more room for the beefy bass tone and delirious lyrics ("Anthrax, ham radio...and liquor!") to shine, but because the grooves are a touch slower and more restrained, Strange Cousins from the West is a step down from their last three albums, From Beale Street to Oblivion, Robot Hive: Exodus, and Blast Tyrant. Even if it's a little less lively, it's still pretty typical Clutch: always heavy, always solid, and ideal background music for driving a semi-truck through a swamp.
Jason Lymangrover, Rovi
Though it was conceived as a mere cash-in for the long-awaited return of the original Black Sabbath, 1998's Reunion is as close to an official live album as the band has had in their historic 30-year career. 1980's Live at Last was released without their permission, and 1982's Live Evil featured then-singer Ronnie James Dio. With this in mind, the band must be commended on the excellent quality of the recordings, which include their most enduring classics ("War Pigs," "Paranoid," "Iron Man"), as well as a few surprises ("Dirty Women," "Behind the Wall of Sleep"), and were culled from a series of concerts in their native Birmingham in December 1997. The real key to this album, however, is the band's ability to avoid the most common pitfall of live recordings: speeding up the songs. This patience is crucial, since such Sabbath staples as "Sweet Leaf," "Black Sabbath," and "Snowblind" owe much of their unique personality and somber atmospherics to the band's trademark "snail's pace." "Children of the Grave" proves itself once again as one of the band's most dependable live favorites, and the massive riffs of "Into the Void" are simply timeless. The two brand new studio tracks are another treat for longtime fans, and while "Selling My Soul" is rather mundane, "Psycho Man" is absolutely incredible thanks to its slow intro and raging final riff.
Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi