Righteous Fool, Righteous Fool (Ripple 2022)

An unearthed treasure: Righteous Fool.

I don’t usually do this, but here is the entire synopsis from the label that tells the story of this record. It is done so well that this is the best way to catch you up. 

Born in 2009 on the impulse of the late Reed Mullin (Corrosion Of Conformity) and guitarist Jason Browning, Raleigh-based rockers RIGHTEOUS FOOL came fully into being when the gang of two invited Mullin’s long-time bandmate Mike Dean (also Corrosion Of Conformity) to play bass. North Carolina legends CoC were on hiatus, and bassist Mike Dean had fallen out of touch with co-founding drummer Mullin until, after nine years, Mullin pulled into Dean’s driveway and asked if he wanted to start a new band.

RIGHTEOUS FOOL demoed and released the two-track 7-inch in 2010 via Southern Lord, and quickly hopped on support tours for Clutch, Weedeater and, later on, Corrosion Of Conformity. The eponymous “Righteous Fool” full-length was recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in California, during the same sessions that produced CoC’s self-titled 2012 reunion LP, but was never released.

Now, in the wake of Reed Mullin passing in 2020, the remaining members decided to bring the album to light, showcasing a lava hot infusion of hard rock, heavy blues, stoner and punk, oozing soul, fury and fire from every note.

It goes without saying that Corrosion of Conformity fans probably have a leg up on liking this album. You can hear it in there for sure, but this music is different. There is more heavy blues in my ears, and the changes and shifts to me often sound more syncopated. The musicians are definitely on a tear here, channeling something special.

Every track is a treasure, and I am not saying that lightly. “Forever Flames” had me hitting repeat the most, but I have also listened to this album straight through several times on my recent cross-country jaunt and it held up state after state.

I have a special affection for the Judas Priest version of the Peter Green song “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)” and there is a killer rendition of tune on this album. I don’t think this song has been appreciated enough, and here we have a new opportunity to breathe in the bluesy, psychedelic wonder of it all. “When the day goes to sleep and the full moon looks / the night is so black the darkness cooks.” O yeah.

And then there is “Heavy Is The Head” and “Edict Of Worms.” And sure, all the rest of them, too. This album is a ravager. Damn. Highly recommended.

Righteous Fool is out now through Ripple Music. Pick it up at the label’s website, Bandcamp, or any other elsewhere.


Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/righteous-fool

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Righteous-Fool-117163561154/

Ripple Music, https://www.ripple-music.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Righteous Fool, Righteous Fool (Ripple 2022)

King Buffalo, Acheron (2021)

The second album of a proposed trilogy from King Buffalo is Acheron.

King Buffalo is a heavy psychedelic rock trio from Rochester. They have been quite prolific in the last lustrum, and their new album is the second of 2021. They excel musically at the long form and Acheron is a welcome showcase for their talents. The band is Sean McVay (guitar, vocals, keys), bassist Dan Reynolds (bass), and Scott Donaldson (drums).

Each song on the new album is about ten minutes long, and there are four of them. “Acheron.” You hear dripping water, running water, then a guitar. Percussion and rhythm. Gentle vocals in a surprisingly upbeat tone for a song sung in a cave (the album was recorded underground at Howe Caverns in New York). Punctuating coarse intrusions do not despair the languid underlying currents, even when the roughhousing guitar takes the lead for an extended time.

“Zephyr” has a different attitude, a more active demeanor. Still there is the gentleness, which we can begin to interpret by now as intrepidness. The guitar leads are expansive, as if moving toward an ideal that has been established by the keys. “Shadows” I find to be more reflective than the first two tracks, more introspective. It ticks and pulls at your inner core.

“Cerberus” is the deepest song, in my hearing. It feels dank and unsettling, a little frightening, even. The distorted lead guitar claws at the fabric of reality, searching for a way out (or maybe a way in). The tension grows and builds all the way to the end where the riff gives no respite. The music is dramatic and powerful.

There is no telling where the third part of the series will land. So far, though, with the first two sessions locked in, it looks for all the world like the totality will be something special. Make sure you hear The Burden of Restlessness and then go spelunking with Acheron. Highly recommended.

Acheron is out now. Look to the band’s website or Bandcamp for hardcopies and/or stream it wherever you stream.

Live photo by Wayne Edwards, State Theatre, Portland, Maine, 2021.


Website, https://kingbuffalo.com/

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

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

King Buffalo, Acheron (2021)

Witchcryer, When Their Gods Come For You (Ripple Music 2021)

Austin, Texas heavy metal band Witchcryer offer up a new set of songs filled with beguiling incursions.

Witchcryer has its origins in the upper Midwest with guitarist Jason Muxlow and saw its completion a little farther south with Javi Moctezuma (drums), Marilyn (bass), and Suzy Bravo (vocals). There is a heavy doom in the atmosphere and desert rock in the stylings. But then, see, the vocalizations often come in from another realm entirely, and there are transitions you wouldn’t expect from a doom or desert rock band. So this then is Witchcryer, its own category. Their inaugural album, Cry Witch, set a high bar and the new one, When Their Gods Come For You, sails right over it.

There are eight songs on the album and every one of them has its own way of taking you over. The clomp and wallop of “Hellmouth” is quantitatively mesmerizing. When the vocal enters it seeks your ears like an shaman’s ayahuasca chant. “Nemesis, The Inevitable” is a deadly serious declaration delivered with such surety it is almost matter-of-fact, as if this statement of intent has already happened. It’s right in the title, I guess: inevitable.

“The Devil & The Deep Blue See” lures with a mystic enheartening almost solemn in nature while “I Rise!” is a full-force charge at resistance, ending in conquest and victory. And then there is the title track which anchors the set. It begins gently, patiently. The music builds hypnotically, unnoticed until you start to feel the walls shaking around you. Quiet again, and then another swell. Suzy Bravo makes everything believable, her every word, and Jason Muxlow seals the story with mesmerizing guitar work. When Their Gods Come For You is definitely one of the best desert-doom-heavy-dark-blues-metal-rock albums of the year. Highly recommended.

Out now from Ripple Music, you can catch up at the links below.


Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/when-their-gods-come-for-you

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

Ripple Music, https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/witchcryer-when-their-gods-come-for-you-deluxe-vinyl-editions

Witchcryer, When Their Gods Come For You (Ripple Music 2021)