The Obsessed: Sacred (Relapse)
Someone call Dave Grohl and tell him The Obsessed have a new album. The Foo Fighters frontman professed his love for anything involving Scott 'Wino' Wenrich on his Probot project and who can blame home as one of the guiding lights in doom metal. So many hundreds of bands owe their existence to Saint Vitus that it puts Wino in the pantheon of hard rock originals like the late Lemmy. You can hear Clutch in It's Only Money and Orange Goblin in Cold Blood but this isn't Wino following trends he was there first. If you've not heard of The Obsessed don't worry not many will have the band was Wino's first before he joined Saint Vitus after leaving them he reformed The Obsessed and then split them again reforming for various festivals before returning full time in March 2016.
Sacred is their fourth album and with a 20 year gap between records you'd think they may have lost their lustre but that frankly would be bollocks, the doom is still strong with this one it's a record steeped in the blues, given bite by punk (Haywire) and then played very low as to shake the walls, your fillings and maybe the state of California too. Wino has never been afraid to write intelligent, honest lyrics and his throaty delivery gives them added depth, for a three piece the play some monstrous riffs with bass rumbles like a T-Rex walking behind you, the drums shake the brain cells and Wino's guitars a dirtier than a whores knickers. The Obsessed do doom-laden, stoner rock how it should be, with 14 tracks it's a bit of a monster that may only be really appreciated by the diehards, still there is enough here to keep your attention so you give it's the time and attention it deserves. 8/10
KXM: Scatterbrain (Rat Pak Records)
There does seem to be a fair few of these collaborative projects featuring virtuoso musicians at the moment with Winery Dogs being he most recent notable example. Well KXM are a heavier proggier prospect as you'd expect with the membership on drums is KoRn's Ray Luzier (K), bass is King's X dUg Pinnick (X) and guitar comes from Lynch Mob's Mr Scary George Lynch. Bolstered by Pinnick's soulful voice and underpinned by his intricate but groove-laden bass lines he gels with Luzier's powerful drumming very well giving tracks like Big Sky Country a thud. As is normal for any record with Lynch he steals the show with his incendiary guitar playing especially on Break Out where the solos keep coming.
As I've said this record is very much a collaborative effort with all three players spitballing ideas off one another to make this record the dark, proggy piece that it's is. It's not as heavy as KoRn, or as progressive as Kings X melodic touches of Lynch Mob but when the players are this good it will always be well received. It's a shame them that much of the album tries a little too hard the Soulfly rhythms of Calypso are over done, Obsession veers to heavily into Sabbath territory, and the latter half of the record drops in quality and originality. At 13 songs it's over long but it will satisfy any fans of those involved for me though it's too much of hodgepodge the execution is faultless but the idea is convoluted. 6/10
Doomocracy: Visions & Creatures Of Imagination (Steel Gallery Records)
Visions & Creatures Of Imagination is Greek (Crete) doom metal band Doomocracy's second album and it starts very well with Ghosts Of The Past driven by massive pinched harmonic groove riffs and orchestral keys. The keys and synths are from classical composer Miguel Robaina and the four songs he features in are the best on the record to be honest. The more straight doom songs have impact but don't make as much of one as the orchestral numbers.
Still the band all play well with dual guitars of Harry and Angelos riffing with abandon and give Guardian Within great solos sections. The lower end of the music is as booming as it needs to be with Lucid Plains Of Ra driven by Manolis' bass, the production is excellent making all the instruments recognition to the vocalist Michael who has staggering vocal prowess. Doomocracy play the epic doom metal of Candlemass et al it's heavy with melodic touches and filled to the brim with great doom anthems. 7/10
The Mighty Wraith: Outcast (Self Released)
Ah British traditional heavy metal, we seem to do it better than pretty much everyone. I suppose having pretty much created it we would but I digress next up to try and seal a place with the likes of Eden's Curse and Fury is Birmingham's The Mighty Wraith. They have released a debut full length but this record is made up of four new tracks and it's bursting with riffs, verbose vocal phrasing and harmonic shredding.
However unlike many of the trad bands around at the moment they are unafraid to get a bit thrashier on the title track which even features some harsh vocals. They sit right in Maiden worship with End Of Time which has open bass chords, a galloping riff and key changes that would be perfect on Killers. These four tracks are a brilliant introduction to The Mighty Wraith for those who may not have heard of them, grassroots British metal at its best. 7/10