Archive for August, 2013

Album of the Day: Argus – Beyond the Martyrs

Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: It’s hard to discern just what Pennsylvania traditional doom metallers Argus intend with the title of their third album, Beyond the Martyrs. On a superficial level, one doesn’t think of a martyr as a place or a level of development to move past, but more than that, what’s supposed to be beyond them?

What comes after that? Death? Devastation? Peace? Paradise? Which martyrs are the five-piece talking about? Is it a Christ figure? The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades?


The closing title-track — which arrives eighth on the 42-minute Cruz del Sur LP with cover art by Brad Moore — is instrumental, so that’s not much help in terms of answering the questions of theme. Tracks prior like ‘No Peace Beyond the Line’ and ‘Trinity’, ‘Cast out all Raging Spirits’ and opener ‘By Endurance We Conquer’  could be read to have elements of religious conflict to them — certainly conflict, anyway — but if there’s a narrative to Beyond the Martyrs, it’s not one as stated by the band so much as one that relies on the listener to plot its course.

Maybe that’s on purpose. As a band, Argus seem much more interested in making solid and conscious use of the dual guitars of Jason Mucio and Erik Johnson and one of traditional metal’s most powerful belt-it-out voices in former Penance vocalist Brian “Butch” Balich, who delivers a standout performance here no less righteous than that on 2011′s Boldly Stride the Doomed  and 2009′s self-titled debut.

Balich is a big part of carrying across the dramas of Beyond the Martyrs – as a standalone frontman should be — and the songs he’s working on top of set a memorable foundation from which to soar as he and a bevvy of guitar solos please, bassist Andy Ramage and drummer Kevin Latchaw hammering out straightforward structures to make ‘No Peace Beyond the Line’, ‘Trinity’ and ‘Cast out all Raging Spirits’ among the album’s several highlights.

That is to say, Argus isn’t just about its singer, despite his considerable presence within these tracks, and Beyond the Martyrs finds a progressive balance between metal and doom that moves fluidly to cast its own personality somewhere between the two.

Continue reading: THE OBELISK – REVIEW: Argus, Beyond the Martyrs
(Courtesy of JJ Koczan / The Obelisk)

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Album of the Day: Gog – Ironworks

Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Praise for Gog‘s Ironworks from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: The return of Gog, and yet another monolithic slab of avant heaviness, this time based on, according to the label at least, the death of the American dream, with much of the sounds coming from Gog mainman Mike Bjella‘s family blacksmith shop, […]

Album of the Day: Obelyskkh – Hymn to Pan

Posted on Monday, August 26th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from SCRATCH the Surface: I’d heard the name Obelyskkh a few times over the past couple years but never had a chance to check them out. I’d probably heard the name because they’ve released albums in three consecutive years now. 2011’s Mount Nysa, 2012’s White Lightnin and now […]

The Day After The Sabbath Vol 90: Good Morning Mr Rock n’ Roll (NZ part 2) Posted Online

Posted on Sunday, August 25th, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath is a blog specialising in regular compilations of obscure heavy 60s and 70s rock. It’s Rich’ aim to reveal the secret world of bands that were inspired by the early psychedelic, doom and hard rock greats but were too short-lived, un-commercial or just plain unlucky […]

Album of the Day: White Hills – So You Are…So You’ll Be

Posted on Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Soundblab: White Hills have been on a seemingly never-ending roll for the last few years, releasing album-after-album of explosive modern psychedelia. 2011s HP-1 was a sprawling, monolithic masterpiece, while last year’s Frying on This Rock was a technicolour blast of motorik beats and driving psych-rock. So You […]

Album of the Day: Vista Chino – Peace

Posted on Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from SCRATCH the Surface: We can’t talk about Vista Chino and their album Peace without a little history. Drummer Brant Bjork, vocalist John Garcia and bassist Nick Oliveri comprised the band Kyuss with guitarist Josh Homme. Kyuss went on to practically invent, if not, at least define the […]

R.I.P. Eyehategod Drummer Joey LaCaze

Posted on Saturday, August 24th, 2013

According to numerous reports out of New Orleans, Joey LaCaze, drummer of Eyehategod, Outlaw Order and The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, has passed away. No further details are currently available. We here at Roadburn offer his family and friends our deepest condolences!

Freedom Hawk To Bring The Beach Party To Roadburn Festival 2014

Posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013

For all the crushing dark and avant-garde music that we adore at Roadburn HQ, we will always have a soft spot for good old fashioned high quality stoner rock. Consequently, we are positively ecstatic to announce that Freedom Hawk will bring their harmonious Sabbath-inspired grooves to Roadburn Festival 2014 on […]

Album of the Day: Beelzefuzz – S/T

Posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Ave Noctum: You really cannot fault the band name can you, especially when it comes at a time when everything decent and catchy has been used. Beelzefuzz whose moniker puts a smile on my face every time I hear it have been cannily plucked from demo obscurity […]

Album of the Day: Vattnet Viskar – Sky Swallower

Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Last Rites: One of the most rewarding pleasures of being an avid music fan is watching a new band grow. The vicarious thrill of accepting a new band into your own personal pantheon is usually all the more potent when you’ve been there for the ragged but […]