Archive for the ‘Album of the Day’ Category

Album of the Day: The Devil and The Almighty Blues – S/T

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from No Clean Singing: Even a cursory listen to metal will reveal elements of two of its parent genres, blues and jazz. But metal’s kinship with these genres does not end with musical derivation and composition. Metal, blues, and jazz also share similar folklore. Long before parents were blaming Dee Snider and Rob Halford for their little hellions’ (see what I did there?) adolescent tyranny, jazz was called “the devil’s music.”

One might trace this attribution to the decadence of the “Roaring 20’s.” Alcohol was outlawed, and that meant no sales taxes. On the black market, anyone who could provide alcohol could make a pretty penny from a customer who wanted his choice poison. As it happened, the establishments that provided the booze provided the music. Jazz itself had nothing to do with the alcohol, cocaine, and hedonistic sexuality of this era. But in the minds of many, jazz was guilty by association. Sin sells. And in the 20’s, jazz was its soundtrack. Blues has likewise been assumed to have Satanic themes and origins.


Folklore and myth surround the life of Robert Johnson. Hailed by some as the “King of the Delta Blues,” Johnson died in 1938 at age 27. After his death, legends began to circulate about his guitar acumen. The most popular of these legends tells that Johnson was walking with his guitar along a road. At midnight, he came to an unmarked crossroad. At that crossroad, Johnson met the devil. Johnson offered his soul to the devil in exchange for learning how to play his guitar.

According to the story, the devil took Johnson’s guitar and tuned it. When Johnson received the guitar, he was able to play what would come to be known as “the blues.” I have not seen any official comments on this, but it would seem to me that such a story makes sense for a band with a name like The Devil and the Almighty Blues.

The Devil and the Almighty Blues’ self-titled album was released 02/16/15. It was recorded live in-studio. The sound quality reflects a raw transparency missing in much of today’s metal. What we hear on the album is what happened in the studio, something that the audiophiles out there will certainly appreciate.

The guitars have a specific Southern twang to them which should please blues aficionados. Fuzzy and warm, the bass coats the guitars like a sweet candy shell. The drums are crisp and clean, and I am particularly fond of the snare. Vocals range from desperate and anguished shouts to melodic crooning.

Also, while the band is definitely influenced by Delta blues, they are about as far from that part of the world as one can be. A place home to more black metal than virtually anywhere else on the planet – Oslo, Norway. My introduction to the band was a Soundcloud stream of the opening track,‘The Ghosts of Charlie Barracuda’. Don’t let the syrupy opening groove fool you; there is something morose hanging over this album. This isn’t your Dad’s classic rock. There is a weight, a grave heaviness to this collection of songs that is absent in most modern blues-influenced rock.


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Album of the Day: Undersmile – Anhedonia

Posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Undersmile are one of the UK’s brightest hopes in the doom scene. Having bulldozed everyone with their stunning debut, Narwhal, the band are now unleashing their 70+ minute opus Anhedonia, to an eager public. Anhedonia is proving to be a much more experimental force […]

Album of the Day: Zombi – Anthology

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Praise for Zombi‘s Anthology from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: Thanks Relapse, you’ve been doin’ some great reissue work lately, this is one of several old faves we’re listing this week that you’ve brought back (see also Bedemon and Pan-Thy-Monium). We originally listed this on CD only, which was super limited, […]

Album of the Day: Pan-Thy-Monium – Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion

Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Praise for Pan-Thy-Monium‘s Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: What in the name of Raagoonshinnaah? Relapse has reissued this old eccentric AQ-fave on vinyl! It’s a “Zornified” slab of surreal death metal from the twisted genius mind of Dan Swano (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Karaboudjan, Witherscape, etc., etc.), […]

Album of the Day: Bedemon – Child Of Darkness

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Praise for Bedemon‘s Child of Darkness from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: This was originally released as a European import on Black Widow, then there was a domestic CD, but that was almost ten years ago and has been long out of print, so Relapse just did ’70s proto-metal / garage […]

Album of the Day: Galley Beggar – Silence and Tears

Posted on Monday, May 18th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Active Listener: Kent based troubadours Galley Beggar unveil their third long player Silence and Tears and it is something rather special indeed. Unashamedly following the path of classic acid folksters such as Mellow Candle, Mr Fox and Trees, but with their own peculiar and wyrd twist, […]

Album of the Day: Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden

Posted on Monday, March 9th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: If you’re a newer band playing a classic form of metal, you need to be concerned with songwriting. With such a strong history behind you, putting together songs worth playing twice is more important than preserving vibes. Philadelphia doom quintet Crypt Sermon prove they’ve got plenty […]

Album of the Day: Elder – Lore

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: There are really two approaches one might take in considering Lore, the third full-length from Massachusetts trio Elder, released in the US by Armageddon Shop and in Europe on Stickman Records. The short way is to say they’ve turned from the deep-toned heavy psych style […]

Album of the Day: Hate & Merda – L’Anno Dell’Odio

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Hate & Merda are a mysterious Italian duo specialising in an interesting blend of sludge, psychadelia and atmospherics. Their debut album’s title is roughly translated as The Year Of Hate, and its barren depths and bleak, nihilistic soundscapes are the perfect soundtrack to every […]

Album of the Day: Abbot – Between Our Past and Future Lives

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: There is an almost singular groove running through Between Our Past and Future Lives, the BloodRock Records debut full-length from Finnish four-piece Abbot. Not in the sense of songs sounding the same — though tones are at least consistent — but just that the material […]

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