Another fine mix of music for you this week.
Odd semi-acoustic darkness peddlers Ancient VVisdom are back with Deathlike. This is just as freaking creepy as you would expect for this bunch. It is, yet again, the soundtrack to that gothic movie in your head that hasn’t been made yet. This is folk music after all the musicians doing it have taken very bad acid trips while reading Lovecraft. It is enthralling and immersive while never being pretentious or tedious.
Connor Christian & Southern Gothic have released a gob-smackingly good album in the form of New Hometown. They even manage to pull of a cracking version of “November Rain” by Guns n’ Roses like you have never heard. CC & SG produce music that is a touch of Southern rock, outlaw country and dirty blues. This is a must for fans of guys like Shooter Jennings and even Ginger. Every tune is hypnotic and entrancing on this release.
Holy Grail are back with their album Ride the Void, which is also a cracking title track. This is straight ahead traditional American heavy metal. Not surprising that, since they hail from California. Lyrically the band delve into the usual mix of fantasy and ancient battles. One of the hooks this band has that makes them so good is their vocalist. He can wail with the best of them but has a melodic quality to his voice that provides variety.
Never heard of Kingcrow but that doesn’t mean I don’t like In Crescendo, which is some cracking metal. They are Italians and play a less pretentious variant of the progressive metal that has been big of late. Vocals are backed by keyboards to give a touch of the epic. They have been around over a decade and this just might be their breakout release. They are very much ready for the international scene.
If you like Black Label Society and want some more madness then checkout Tombstone Highway and their release Ruralizer. They manage that fine line between sounding similar and sounding like a tribute band. They are a duo and play a healthy mixture of doom, sludge and Southern rock. Oh yeah, and surprisingly they don’t hail from South of the Mason-Dixon line but from Southern Europe. Italy to be exact. Italian redneck? Who’d a thunk it?
There are a bunch of chaps called Voodoo Circle and they have nailed the pomp sound of Whitesnake in ’80s to a note. I should hate More than One Way Home and poo-poo with a sneer and glance of a cynical critic. But I can’t, I love every damn minute of this release. I especially love the Hammond-tinged greatness of “Cry of Love”, a song that David Coverdale should have written in the day. The guy singing lead is a dead ringer vocally for Coverdale and the band certainly have the chops to pull if off.
As always, stay safe and rocking out there.