There are great recordings, and then there are releases that just get better each and every time you listen to them. SpiralArms new release FREEDOM is one of those releases. I loved it the first time I heard it, and it's done nothing but get stronger with each and every listen for me. Maybe it's the mood I'm in these days, or maybe it's just that great music is coming out fast and furiously, but it seems like for the past two months, each release has been better than the last. In the last 3 months alone, I've proclaimed "album of the year" twice before...Vista Chino's PEACE and Scorpion Child's self-titled debut. Now, I'm proclaiming it once again. Full of diversity and influences from all the right bands in the history of rock and metal, FREEDOM stands as the lone perfect listening experience of 2013 for me. This one is a stunner.
Financial politics once again ruins a great band. In this case, it's the greatest band of the stoner rock genre, Kyuss. With heated debates about publishing and the payments from such things, Kyuss split up. Part of them became Queens Of The Stone Age, and other parts had various titles like Sloburn, Hermano and, eventually, Kyuss Lives. That wasn't allowed due to more legal bullshit, so Kyuss Lives became Vista Chino. To be blunt about it, I'm still personally pissed off at all these guys for ruining a band I've enjoyed throughout my life as much as any. BLUES FOR THE RED SUN is about as good of a rock album has ever been recorded in my eyes; it never leaves my iPod or goes unattended too long. I've never dug Queens Of The Stone Age much, and to be honest, really wasn't overwhelmed by Hermano or Sloburn either. In short, these guys legal bullshit killed what I, personally, was digging.
About every two to three years, a band comes along that I have never heard of that absolutely overwhelms me. A few years ago, it was Volbeat that came out of nowhere and really struck a chord with me. Most recently, that Halestorm record just stays in my player and gets play several times a week. Following an impressive performance at ROCK ON THE RANGE as well as a very fun hang with them after their performance, a new band has jumped on my radar. That band is Scorpion Child. With interest, their self-titled release found it's way to me a week after ROCK ON THE RANGE, and it's been stuck in my player (and my head) ever since. As of today, July 9th, 2013, SCORPION CHILD is the metal album of the year in my eyes. A new band for me to follow religiously has been launched to the world.
Talk about your throwback to the 1960s or very early '70s! LEGEND is one of those albums that if you don't listen closely, you might mistake for a long lost '70s Black Sabbath demo had Ronnie James Dio been auditioning for the band that far back. While it doesn't pack the punch of the great Black Sabbath, the vibe and the aura of doom metal is all over this record. To say the least, Witchcraft is not merely a copycat band though. They have their own vibe that gloriously waves the influence of Black Sabbath on it, but also features a more straight forward rock sound that will make you 80s rockers jump for joy. LEGEND is a very cool release.
IV: PART 1, THE PURPLE EP
Of all the guys from Pantera, it really is surprising that Philip Anselmo was the one to emerge and find the most success after that band. We all know what happened to Dimebag, but Vinnie Paul's decision to join an average to below average Supergroup and Rex Brown's recent move to the decent but not going anywhere band Kill Devil Hill leaves Anselmo as the lone guy still making music that a lot of the Pantera fans actually love and respect. Returning from the great but disappointing album OVER THE UNDER (disappointing because the production was so God awful), Anselmo and his southern fried project Down are back with the first of a multi-installment set of releases. THE PURPLE EP is exactly what you would expect from Down, especially if you were a fan of DOWN II: A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEROW.