Black Sabbath’s Self-titled Debut Album Turns 50

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On this day in 1970 “Black Sabbath” released their self-titled debut album. This it it folks, this is the album that pioneered the sound of “Heavy Metal,” and it’s widely acknowledged as the first true blue “Metal” album. It’s easy to see why. Everything about this album paved the way for a lot of common tropes of the genre. The opening track “Black Sabbath” is “Doom Metal” through and through, the lyrical themes of Lucifer and the occult that are commonly affiliated with some of the more dark sub-genres of “Metal” are here, and just look at the cover art, that’s “Black Metal” and “Gothic” imagery if I ever did see it, but what really single-handedly invented the genre is without a doubt Tony Iommi’s guitar style. When Iommi was 17 years old he sliced the tips off two of his fingers while working at a sheet metal factory. Refusing to give up playing guitar, Iommi made prosthetic tips out of melted plastic bottles and detuned his guitar because the looser strings were easier to play, and with much distortion Iommi created the pivotal “Metal” guitar sound that you hear in every “Metal” song today. Albums that are the first of it’s kind are rare, and here is the album that everyone in the genre of “Heavy Metal” music owes a lot to. Happy Anniversary.

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Album Review: OvO – Miasma

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Artist: OvO

Album: Miasma

Genre: Extreme Metal/Doom Metal

Label: Artoffact Records

Rating: 8/10

 Hailing from Italy, “OvO” aren’t exactly a new band. They’re veterans at this point. They’ve been making music since the early 2000’s, but the band still sound fresh with every release. When hearing their music it’s easy for one to assume that they’re hearing a four-piece band, but the shocking reality is that they’re a duo. As a matter of fact, their drummer Bruno Dorella only uses a floor tom, a snare, and a ride cymbal. This might sound crazy to you complexity obsessed “Metal” aficionados, but even though this band’s setup is minimal, their sound is far from minimal. It’s an intense assault of Hellish and demonic sounding music that never falls into a “Metal” parody, because instead of trying to sound sinister and brooding, the band genuinely sound like they’re exorcising demons and only they can utilize the sound they have created for themselves. Their new album Miasma is no exception. On this album the band do what they have been doing successfully for years, but this time around they sound even more ambitious, adding more reverbed out atmospherics that further build their cold and dark world, and they continue to incorporate electronics similar to what they were doing on their previous album Creatura. Lead singer Stefania Pedretti uses her gruesome vocals as an instrument, a sound that is a pivotal element to the band’s music, and her guitar and bass playing is noisy yet subtle enough to take you on a dark unsettling meditative journey. A journey that will not be for everyone, but it’s a journey nonetheless. The band have found a new way to reinvent themselves while staying true to their unique sound.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

 

OvO Share New Single “Queer Fight”

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OvO will release their new album Miasma on February 7th via “Artoffact Records,” and today the band released a new single off the upcoming album titled “Queer Fight.” Like their previous work, this song is Hellish, extreme, and quite frightening with their signature minimal Metal? Punk? Industrial? Hell, it’s OvO, they can’t be categorized, and in this day and age that isn’t something that can be said for a lot of modern artists. About the song the band have stated that “Queer Fight is our personal ode to positive rage. It is the metaphor of everyday life: people fighting rules which don’t give space for diversity, a challenge against the inflexibility of the society. It wants to be a motto for a united fight for everybody’s freedom.” You can listen to “Queer Fight” below:

Album Review: Ossuarium – Living Tomb

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Artist: Ossuarium

Album: Living Tomb

Genre: Death Metal/Doom Metal/Black Metal

Rating: 8/10

Upon hearing Portland’s own “Ossuarium’s” new album Living Tomb, one can make the assumption that there were preceding albums before it given the attention to detail and technical skill Living Tomb has, but this is impressively the band’s debut album. This album gives off a vibe that the band have been doing this for years and that there has to be a lo-fi debut album littered with kinks in their discography, but that is definitely not the case here. Living Tomb couldn’t be a more polished, unique, and frightfully focused debut album. It is a heavy odyssey that uses “Death Metal” with it’s low growls, wicked guitar riffs, and fast as Hell drumming as a backdrop for immense experimentation in atmosphere, gloom, and of course doom. These tracks often start off with a fist to the face heaviness that will make you head bang to the point where you may need to see a chiropractor afterwards, but they often stray into a territory that incorporates elements of “Doom Metal” with dark drop-tuned guitar melodies, and even “Post-Rock” with reverbed out chorus effects, and atmospheres that are beautifully dark and even dreamy, well… more nightmarish than dreamy, because this is as dark as it gets, it’s an unrelenting odyssey, and I do mean odyssey because this whole album is a journey down the rabbit hole of chaos. There’s even an intro at the beginning of the record that kind of echoes the frightening pre-opening scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey where the screen is pitch black but backed by disturbingly eerie music. If the band is already this good on their debut album, there’s no telling what they’re capable of doing in the future.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Date: 02/04/19