Gozu, Remedy (Black Light Media 2023)

Boston stoner metal band Gozu returns in peak form on Remedy.

Since about 2008 Gozu has been putting out fuzzy guitar-driven beauties, starting with their self-titled set in that year. It might have been 2016’s Revival that spiked their fan base, or the even more impressive Equilibrium that came out two years after that. Whenever you got on the bandwagon, you know why: it’s stoner it’s doom it’s desert it’s psych – it’s Gozu. The band is Marc Gaffney (vocals, guitar), Joseph Grotto (bass), Doug Sherman (guitar), and Seth Botos (drums).

We’ve gotten used to Gozu albums starting off with a banger and they do it again on Remedy, this time with “Tom Cruise Control.” It is punchy and fun and tongue in cheek, which we knew it would be from the title. The lead guitar break is a beauty, dissipating into a surging riff that heads toward the exit. “CLDZ” follows and is a little more laid back (in a Corrosion of Conformity kind of way) while still maintaining passages of appropriate urgency. When “Rambo 2” kicks in, you start to understand that this is going to be a heavy groove album, with tons of catchy hooks, shifts, and changes. Every song cracks a new one, or two, or three. “Joe Don Baker” sparkles with up-tempo energy while “Pillow Talk” posits a bluesy lane and still takes a long walk in, strutting its stuff.

There are all kinds of surprises in the back side, too. The band pitches a doom tent on “Ben Gazzara Loves No One” and comes out swinging in the second half. They get all spacey with “Ash” … and then flip in some killer hooks. As if that wasn’t enough, the final track is the nine-minute “The Handler.” The song has strong doom presentations in the first half, a bizarre spaciness in the second half, and a long, screechy fade out. For my money, this is another great record from the Land of Gozu. Recommended.

Remedy is out on Friday, May 19th through Black Light Media and Metal Blade Records. Touch the links below.


Bandcamp, https://gozu.bandcamp.com/album/remedy

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/

Black Light Media, https://www.blacklightmediarecords.com/gozu/

© Wayne Edwards

Gozu, Remedy (Black Light Media 2023)

Bonginator, The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot (Barbaric Brutality 2023)

Bonginator fires up some gruesome death metal weirdness on The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot.

Bonginator is Erik Thorstenn (guitar, vocals) and Ron Bernhaut (bass). Drums are currently handled by Joseph McNamara; Jake Thompson played them on the album. The name of the band should give you some idea of what you are in for when you drop the needle. But you might be wrong.

There is an intro bit, which is a full-length song, and it is absolutely bizarre. Jam-packed with jazz-space boogie and a narrator who explains that the only way to save the world is to smoke weed … and then smoke more weed. A fascinating set-up, then “Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot” swings open the door. This song has recognizable death metal elements, and some squeals and squeaks that shake things up. And, it definitely cooks. “Zombie Party Rockers” celebrates more weirdness. I am not sure what I expected to hear from a band that calls itself Bonginator. What I am hearing I like a lot. It is unquestionably unique, sometimes sounding like a cross between Primus and Mutoid Man, and sometimes sounding like nothing else.

There is a lot on this record to distract and amaze. Don’t skip “420lb Poop,” which is truly amazing, or the “Blunt Smoke” pairing of the jazzy “Interlude 1” and the terrifying “Suffocation.” “Ritualistic Marijuana-Related Anal Defilement” has a title that pleads for your attention and provides music to back up the hype. It is a wild ride. If you put Bonginator on the bill with any other bands the result will be a crazy night. Recommended.

The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot is out on Monday, April 20th – 4/20 – through Barbaric Brutality. Get the goods at the links below.


Bandcamp, https://bonginator.bandcamp.com/album/the-intergalactic-gorebong-of-deathpot

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bonginatorMA/

Barbaric Brutality, https://barbaricbrutality.bandcamp.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Bonginator, The Intergalactic Gorebong of Deathpot (Barbaric Brutality 2023)

Revocation, Netherheaven (Metal Blade 2022)

Boston prog death metal band Revocation take you down a dark path on their new album, Netherheaven.

David Davidson (guitar, vocals), Brett Bamberger (bass, vocals), and Ash Pearson (drums) are Revocation. Since 2006 (and even before that as Cryptic Warning), this Boston metal band has been playing technical death metal to the escalating delight of their fans. They have released seven previous full-length albums, most recently The Outer Ones (2018). With what they have accomplished so far, they could have gone in any direction on their new record. They chose the dark, seething mythology of hell itself.

Talking about the new album, Davidson says, “We’re definitely in more of a death metal mindset than on earlier albums in our catalog. We’re focusing on how we can write the best death metal-centric album that we possibly can while still pushing our boundaries. The new songs on Netherheaven are evil and sinister but also have a progressive element to them to keep things interesting. It’s got our stamp on it, no question.”

There are nine crucial tracks on the new album. “Diabolical Majesty” sets the tone, and the tone is bewilderment. The music is almost overwhelming in its density. If you stand back a little you can catch the wave, and when the vocals kick in you will find your legs. The riff shifts are stabbing, the vocal changes are threatening. Prog elements add depth but also have a lifting quality to them that enormously enhances the music.

“Lessons In Occult Theft” is next. The percussion is a brutalizing affair, and the big guitar break is a fleeing spirit wandering the dark regions of a menaced space. It will make your head spin. Immediately following is “Nihilistic Violence,” which is every bit as trance-worthy as its predecessors.

The album does not let up at all. I particularly like the lyrical elegance of “Galleries of Morbid Artistry” and the extended guitar work of “The 9th Chasm.” Don’t miss “Re-Crucified,” either, because it features guest vocals by the late Trevor Strnad and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – it is a buzzsaw. Revocation has done it again. Recommended.

Netherheaven is out on Friday, September 9th through Metal Blade Records. Touch the links below to get the details.


Bandcamp, https://revocationband.bandcamp.com/album/netherheaven

Revocation website, https://www.revocationband.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Revocation/

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/revocation/

© Wayne Edwards

Revocation, Netherheaven (Metal Blade 2022)

Great American Ghost, Torture World (MNRK Heavy 2022)

In their tenth year, Great American Ghost offers up a bloody aperitif in the form of Torture World.

Boston hardcore band Great American Ghost has been doing their thing for a while now, and has documented their rage on a number of albums including Everyone Leaves (2015), Hatred Stems From The Seed (2017), and Power Through Terror (2019). The new four-track EP is just as expressive as anything they have done before, and it seems to me that it is meant to charge up their fans for the current tour they are on with Fit For An Autopsy and Enterprise Earth. Mission accomplished. The band is Ethan Harrison (vocals), Niko Gasparrini (guitar), Davier Perez (drums), and Grayson Stewart (guitar).

“Kingmaker” sounds excessively angry and also, inexplicably, holds a kind of groove. In contrast, “Torture World” begins quietly and sweetly for a couple of seconds. The liltyness recurs throughout the song, shining a bright light on the savagery.

“Womb” is unbelievably intense with its off center attack and recursions. It is a horror elemental, inspiring fear and trepidation. The final track is the clangy and gritty “Death Forgives No One” which, despite its title and theme, has a catchy chorus that could be a radio hit in different song.

This music makes me feel punchy, makes me want to crack some heads – makes me remember the taste of blood. I don’t know if Great American Ghost has this effect on everybody, but the adrenaline injection I received is exactly what I wanted, and I am not interested in coming down. Recommended.

MNRK Heavy releases Torture World on Friday, January 20th to the masses, whether they are ready or not. Get your heaping helping at the links below.

Band photo by Chris Klump.


Bandcamp, https://greatamericanghost.bandcamp.com/album/torture-world

Website, https://tortureworld.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/GreatAmericanGhost

MNRK Heavy, https://mnrkheavy.com/

Great American Ghost, Torture World (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Lesotho, Summer Wars (Suspended Soul Tapes & Records 2021)

The instrumental trio from Boston, Lesotho, conjure the heavy from thin to thick in Summer Wars.

Lesotho is Kyle Loffredo (guitar), Cliff Cazeau (bass), and Zach Ganshirt (drums). They build instrumental constructs that are carefully engineered to be aurally received in broad range. That is, different people can get very different vibes from the same songs. You could tag this music in many divergent ways from shoegaze to ambient rock to … all sorts of other labels. On their Bandcamp page, the description reads in part “heavy instrumental post-everything.” There you go.

The EP has four tracks. In each one there are passages that are quiet among others that are loud. I don’t think I can be more vague about it. The progression is the former toward the latter (and back again) three out of four times, the odd track out being my favorite, “Pride & Sorrow.” The distinction here is more data than anything else.

What sets this music apart is its ability to make the listener more receptive to the self inhabiting the shell. The beautiful, melodic passages and the rougher ones could each exist separately in isolation, but they are both better when they are intertwined.

This music can show you a path towards whatever you have been avoiding no matter what it is or why you have been ignoring it. And, of course, if you would prefer not to ponder while you listen, the music can be enjoyed in the superficial lane, too. Recommended.

Summer Wars is out on Friday, August 20th, digitally through Bandcamp. Suspended Soul Tapes & Records will have a limited physical edition later on.

Band photo by Pine Street Studios.


Bandcamp, https://lesotho.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/lesothoboston

Suspended Soul website, https://www.facebook.com/SuspendedSoulTapesRecords

Lesotho, Summer Wars (Suspended Soul Tapes & Records 2021)

There Were Wires, Somnambulists (Iodine Recordings 2021)

The long-remembered Somnambulists album gets a remaster and a re-release.

A somnambulist is a sleep walker. Not a label in common usage. Silent horror movie fans (are there any of those left besides me?) will recognize it from Robert Wiene’s classic German expressionist horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Otherwise, it doesn’t come up much. Cool word, though.

The band There Were Wires goes back to 1999 in Boston. Releasing demos and a long-player on their own, they hooked up with Iodine Recordings in early aughts and the result was Somnambulists. The album came out and was well received but the label and the band fragmented just after. Now in a renewal phase, a remastered version of the notable incarnation is coming to life.

Let’s walk through the museum and make a couple of comments.

The music is a movement through a number of genres – metal, hardcore, punk – and it generally has a well-produced feel. I like the doom elements interspersed among the frantic cracks, and the thrumming percussion that appears and disappears in a way that sorts out your arrhythmia.

The opening track is “New Doom” and I spent the most time with it, appreciating its directions and miasms. Instrumental passages like “Walking” give way to songs like “Get Cryptic” where Primus seems to be channeled and then were on to short ruptures and enigmatic sidelines. “Gasp” is a meditation, ten minutes overall and filled with infections and inoculations alike – it is an event all its own. The closer here is “Tunic,” a cover of the Sonic Youth song.

The compositions contained in this set could easily have been created today. The music does not sound at all dated or out of place. If anything it is particularly resonant now. If you are coming back to it today or if you have never heard it before, now is a good time to listen in. Recommended.

Somnambulists is out on Friday, April 16th. Hit the label link below for the recording and merch.

Band photos by Erin McCown.


Bandcamp, https://iodinerecordings.bandcamp.com/

Label, https://iodinerecords.com/

There Were Wires, Somnambulists (Iodine Recordings 2021)

Inhalement, Live Resin (HPGD 2020)

Boston Death Metal smokers Inhalement push out their third EP, Live Resin.

In the throes of the public health-induced slowdown, Boston’s own Inhalement got together in October to record a live in the studio album. According to the press notes, the music was “Captured in one take – no edits, no overdubs, no punch ins and plenty of mistakes – to document the experience of Inhalement in the most primal form.” A very punk, DIY approach, and an accurate description.

There are five songs in the set, starting with “Charred and Stale” and then two each from Eternally Stoned and Grotesque Inhalement. The first song is a good warm up for the frenzy that follows. It really does sound like a live play through, and, maybe because of the mic placement, it has a dingy club sonic presence. You can almost feel the pit and smell the sweat. One song boils into the next, and they are “Exhumed for Edibles,” “Drowning in Reclaim,” “MJ Ultra,” and “Bong Rip Execution.” Every heavy thing we like about this band comes out in growling elegance.

Rolling up on twenty minutes of aggressive menace, the new Inhalement album might not cure you of all your ills, but it will help you forget some of your troubles for a while. Recommended.

December 11th is the drop date for Live Resin. Get yourself together by then so you are ready to crank it up when the clock strikes.


Inhalement Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Inhalementdeathmetal/

Inhalement Bandcamp, https://inhalement.bandcamp.com/

HPGD, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

HPGD Bandcamp, http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/

HPGD Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pg/horrorpaingoredeath/posts/

Inhalement, Live Resin (HPGD 2020)

Cortez, Sell The Future review (Ripple Music 2020)

Album number three from Cortez is Sell The Future and it rides a heavy wave of riff-powered demolition.

From the Boston area, Cortez has been releasing music since their 2006 demo. They have had a couple of lineup changes over the years, as most bands do. For Sell the Future, earliest members Jay Furlo (bass) and Scott O’Dowd {Scotty Fuse} (guitar) are joined by long time players Matt Harrington (vocals) and Alasdair Swan (guitar). Alexei Rodriguez (drums) is newest, dating from 2017 (if The Metal Archives has it facts straight).

Harrington’s voice is powerful and fierce when he wants it to be and yet he can attenuate it for different emotions and effects. The compositions rely on solid grooves and big riffs, with well-placed and clever lead breaks adding nuance to the work. The rippling and surprising percussion bursts that you hear from Rodriguez in unexpected places are a fundamental building block to the unique sound of the band.

“No Escape” is a banger, and the perfect choice for an up-tempo lead off song. The title track is next and sets a serious tone with a purposeful riff up front then pushes on with a heavy swagger. The tempo gets a switch in advance of the lead break, which flays the carcass of reason. “Look At You” has a driving rhythm that just won’t let you turn away, and if you are not hooked on this album by the time the third song is over, I don’t know what to say to you. I cannot pick a single favorite, but I will point to the way the songs dissimilarities enhance the set as a whole – listening to the furiously paced “Vanishing Point” right after “Sharpen The Spear,” which has a more plaintive structure, puts you off balance in just the right way for the closer, “Beyond.” This album was worth the wait. Highly recommended.

Sell the Future is out now. Bandcamp is a good place to look for the digital, and there are couple vinyl variants there, too.

Band photo by Bruce Bettis.


Ripple Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/sell-the-future

Cortez website, http://www.cortezboston.com/

Cortez Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cortezboston/

Cortez Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/cortezboston

Cortez, Sell The Future review (Ripple Music 2020)