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On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called Popdose. Join him in his quest.

Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)

AlbumAlbum: Serpent Crown, Serpent Crown
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death
Release: June 4, 2013
Genre: Thrash

Press: Female-fronted power trio Serpent Crown has released their self-titled debut through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Skilled guitarist and spectral vocalist Dara Santhai leads the charge on this self-titled debut album which features drummer Will Carroll of Thrash Metal veterans Death Angel blasting behind the kit. Undertones of 80’s thrash metal, hardcore and heavy atmospheric rock are prevalent and compliment the rocking yet haunting aural landscape. Serpent Crown is an unearthly journey to the dark side with songs of the apocalypse, ruminations of death and destruction.

The Hellgoat’s Take (7/10): Will Carroll is already gone as he had to tour with Death Angel but you can hear his influence on this record. However, it’s not all thrash. There’s surely a base in that but there’s a lot of sludge as well and the Hellgoat even hears a little Bolt Thrower in “The Trickster.” The Hellgoat is not a great fan of Santhai’s layered and echo-y vocals throughout the disc but she lays down some fierce riffs. It’s a little sloppy too which is kind of endearing on this release. Their debut is decent enough but the potential is there for something even greater down the road. Awesome cover though!

AlbumAlbum: Earthen Grave, Earthen Grave
Label: Ripple Music
Release: July 9, 2013
Genre: Doom/Heavy Metal

Press: Earthen Grave’s self-titled debut finds the band unleashing a terror of groove-laden, classic metal and doom. Twin guitar harmonies sear through the riff-fest of pure darkness and post-Sabbath heaviness.

Formed in 2008, Earthen Grave is a five-piece Chicago metal band that marries the sounds of metal past and future with a sweaty, pummeling live show. Earthen Grave boasts an undeniable collective metal and musical pedigree. Each member is an accomplished musician and a veteran of the metal scene, including Ron Holzner who was a member of the seminal and seismic doom pioneers Trouble – a band widely regarded as one of the most important unsung American metal bands of all time. In addition, Earthen Grave has that “extra something special” with occasional guest 6th member live and boasting a Full collaboration on the new release with Rachel Barton Pine. Rachel, a world-renowned classical violinist brings her frightening classical chops to a relatively new instrument, the Viper.

The Hellgoat’s Take (9/10): The Hellgoat can’t put his furry foot on it but there’s something about Earthen Grave that’s intriguing. Their self-titled debut was originally released in 2012 and reviews mention Thrash being involved here but the Hellgoat ain’t picking up that vibe. Earthen Grave is a doom band at the core, mixing in elements of traditional metal and maybe even a little power metal now and again. While they would probably still be good without it, it’s really the violin that makes a difference here. While adding in some strings isn’t anything new, with this record it helps create a sound that is quite different overall. The Hellgoat’s not even a huge fan of Mark Weiner’s vocals but they do work great on this record. There’s just something about this that’s irresistible.

Album
Album: Witches Mark, Witching Metal Ritual
Label: Heaven and Hell Records
Release: July 15, 2013
Genre: Power/Speed Metal

Press: Witching Metal Ritual features eight tracks of uncompromising metal glory blending elements of thrash, speed, doom, black, and death while anchoring their overall sound firmly within the framework of traditional heavy metal.

The Hellgoat’s Take (5.5/10): All of the above is true but it just doesn’t all work together. The cheesy ’80s album cover with the cartoon version of the band, boozin’, fightin’ and sexin’, makes the Hellgoat want to love this album. But the change in styles just don’t work as well as they could. Witching Metal Ritual is traditional in the sense that it does bring much new to the table. It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1988 or 1992, which is what the band was surely going for but doesn’t necessarily sound fresh like most of the retro bands these days. The straight doom of “We Die” doesn’t really fit great in middle of the speed metal tracks and album closer “Where None Can Follow” is a jumble of conflicting sounds. There’s some decent riffs on the album and with some scene veterans in the band the pieces are there to make this project good but the Hellgoat’s afraid he was let down by this one.

The title track does however feature Ross the Boss and is pretty much the coolest thing on the record. You can check that out below.

AlbumAlbum: Revolution Harmony, “We Are” (single)
Label: Revolution Harmony
Release: July 18, 2013
Genre: Metal

Press: Vancouver-based non-profit record label Revolution Harmony was launched in 2011 by [Ray] Holroyd. After founding the non-profit Grade 9 Records in 2008 and growing the label over three successful years, Holroyd decided to expand upon what he had originally established as a means for his students to sell their music and donate the profits to charity, and Revolution Harmony was born. Revolution Harmony acts as a two-way channel, providing an outlet for artists to release their music worldwide and earn money from it, and providing an inlet for the label profits from that music to be redirected to charities that restore harmony between all people, animals and the environment.

The lyrical theme in “We Are” is based on the concept behind Revolution Harmony, which is essentially the belief that musical harmony has the power to inspire a revolution towards societal harmony. The single is dedicated to Nelson Mandela and the memory of Lucky Dube, regarded as South Africa’s Bob Marley, and will be released worldwide on Mandela Day (July 18), with all proceeds donated to Buskaid, a charity that provides free music lessons and instruments to children in the townships of South Africa.

The Hellgoat’s Take (NR): The Hellgoat doesn’t usually doesn’t post singles but this is for a good cause, so why the fuck not? Vocals by Serj Tankian and Ihsahn (Emperor), guitar solos by Devin Townsend – how can you go wrong with that.