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Saturday, September 02, 2006

New species of dinosaur discovered

At long last. The new wave of doom metal has arrived, and before you even say, New wave? Doom metal never went away! ask yourself: how many doom metal groups can you name? Black Sabbath don't count, they're too easy, and neither does Type O Negative, because they suck. How many doom metal fans do you know? Just that kid down the street whose eyes you've never seen because he has so much hair, yeah. Clearly, the renaissance has come. The Dungeons and Dragons kids need their soundtrack, too, right? Predictably, the forerunners hail from strange climes--Australia, Texas, and Canada, to be exact. So who, you ask, are these harbingers of sludge? Who are these new demigods of doom?

Wolfmother: The Aussies. Of course, the best band Australia has put out since AC/DC, and, according to Jimmy Page, the best band since Led Zeppelin, period. Apparently shoving Black Sabbath, Zep, and Deep Purple into a blender, adding a pinch of King Crimson, and dispensing with Spinal Tap altogether, Wolfmother are for serious. They sing songs with titles like "Tales from the Forest Gnomes" and "White Unicorn", they play Jethro Tull-style flute soloes and fiddle with organ fuzz, they have big hair. By all accounts their live shows are to die for, all flying spit and hammering riffs and bassist Chris Ross thrashing his instrument like a naughty toddler. Essential track: "Vagabond" (Wolfmother).

The Sword: The Texans. Texas is allowed to put out two or three good bands every decade, and these hipster rejects are certainly the best Texan band since The Mars Volta. Lyrics about Norse goddesses and tracks that sample howling wolves--what could be better? An obsession with swordsmithing, jeans tight enough to piss off sensitive metalheads, and brain-melting guitars, okay, I'm sold. My personal favorite of the Doom Nouveau (they're coming in October! Yeee!), The Sword play their metal like God intended: head-bangingly hard, unstoppable like a freight train, and chock-full of hair. Essential track: "The Horned Goddess" (Age of Winters).

Priestess: The Canadians, and geez oh man can you ever hear the lumberjacking, ice-chopping, beaver-trapping oomph of the North Country in this band's music. Speedier than The Sword and harsher than Wolfmother, Priestess believe in heaviosity and they prove it by way of slashing guitar riffs, splintered-glass vocals, and a drummer who might actually be a throwback to the Neanderthals. And yes, they have hair. Lots of hair. Essential track: "I Am the Night, Colour Me Black" (Hello Master).

With these deities-made-flesh before you, how are you not wetting yourself??

(On a completely non-metal-related note, Gogol Bordello's music makes me want to scream 'BERSERKER!!!' like Silent Bob's cousin in Clerks.)

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