by Martin Moore

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Vicious Blade Carve Out A Name For Themselves With A Razor-Sharp Debut EP

Unassumingly releasing their very first cassette album (its only physical format so far) on Devil’s Night 2020, Vicious Blade, a new Pittsburgh death/thrash/crust project featuring members of Tartarus, Commit Suicide, and Complete Failure, deals swiftly and brutally with poseurs in blood-hungry Napalm Death-meets-Midnight fashion. Consisting of five brief tracks totaling over just thirteen minutes, this self-titled debut is punctuated by the frightening roar of Clarissa Badini and the deft guitarwork of Jeff Ellsworth and Erik...

The Grym Hessian’s Top 100 Metal Albums Of 2020

I  honestly did not expect to post an unprecedented 100 albums on my honor roll for this most tumultuous year of 2020, but COVID-19 and overall societal turbulence seemed to bring out the best in the heavy metal universe, hessians of myriad disciplines, specialties, and generations getting prolific without sacrificing quality. Or were they simply not deterred by the zeitgeist as opposed to being inspired by or forced to react to it? Perhaps it’s some...

Cruisin’ Limousine Beach With Dave Wheeler!

Yes, he’s at it again. Those who savored Dave Wheeler’s delectable licks in his former band, Carousel, a Pittsburgh act that remains one my personal local favorites ever, have an obvious reason to get excited over his new project, Limousine Beach. Think of the inaugural EP (part of a series of “concept” pieces) as the first course in a 70’s Metal tasting menu that will leave your belly gnawing for more. I recently spoke with...

To Us He Was And Shall Always Be A Giant: Ronnie James Dio 1942-2010

At the end of Martin Popoff’s excellent, poignant 2006 book about Dio titled Light Beyond The Black, a work I highly recommend to any heavy metal fan, Popoff states… “One day, Ronnie won’t be there championing the common cause — a cause dear to his heart because it’s dear to yours. Experience it and enjoy it while you can.” That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the news that Ronnie...

Horseburner-The Thief

For going on 11 years now, Horseburner have been on the run, making music and playing gigs as if there were prices on their heads. In August, Horseburner set off a bushel of fireworks in The Thief, a tricky stoner metal ode to the giants of the 70’s that was a watershed moment for the genre in 2019 and is worthy of some of your iPod space and headphone time. A short, titular instrumental sets...

Weed Demon-Crater Maker

Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon have been lurking in the shadows for about 5 years, creating and relasing a handful of recordings since their formation, including an EP and two full-length albums. The latest, Crater Maker, is an underground mine explosion that measures 6 tracks wide, 45 minutes long, and 5 kilotons in strength. This infernal pit of sludge and doom begins with a short, innocuous instrumental composition only to detonate with another, much longer and...

Automb-Chaosophy

From the icy, bitter, perpetual night of space arrived Automb. Allow your imagination to blind you to the fact that they were formed by a European immigrant and a Connecticut transplant. Do not be deceived by their relative youth. Automb are vessels for gods long lost and older than the eldest sun. Chaosophy, the now three-piece act’s second album, is a cry from a void, a primordial frequency that only occultists can decipher, hurled from...

Rainscape call their style of music “Doomericana,” which implies a sort of “Bluegrass Sabbath” sound. With just a 3-track 2018 EP out prior to the release of their latest single, Rainscape are obviously just getting their tires wet. What I’m hearing with “Low Tide” is a sort of psychedelic. desert grunge. Imagine Mother Love Bone partying with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Kyuss with whiskey in their gullets. If dreamy, hair-band melodies, jangly guitars,...

Lady Beast – The Vulture’s Amulet

Lady Beast are a local band I’ve had the pleasure of watching/listening effloresce over the past 6 years after first catching them at a festival in Chicago of all places. Their debut, self-titled record made me to crack a smile at its derivative worship of British metal traditions, conventions, and convictions and little more. However, their exponentially explosive live performances kept my ears fixed on them, and I was rewarded with a succession of stellar...