Age Of Taurus – ‘Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times’ (Metal Blade/Rise Above)
Rise Above/Metal Blade Records
Age Of Taurus are a UK based doom metal band that take a ton of influence from all matter of bands in the genre such as Candlemass, Cathedral, Trouble, and The Sword. Each song on Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times could be mistaken for a song from each of the aforementioned bands, yet this is a very good thing.The title track is one that reminds you of Trouble circa 1990 as they began to incorporate a heavy rock influence while doom metal took a back seat to the fury. It’s a varied and balanced album that will intrigue more than just the fans of this genre.Rating : 4
Antigama – ‘Meteor’ (Selfmadegod)
Polish grind contingent Antigama are back on the scene with their sixth full-length Meteor, which also marks their return on Selfmadegod after a two-album stint with Relapse. With its surgical attack and effective use of sci-fi sampling that ties everything together instead of distracting from the audio violence, Antigama have a solid album here that stands out in a year that’s already seen its fair share of quality grind.
Not many bands would have the balls to drop an ambient track like “Turbulence” three-quarters of the way through a grind marathon, but then again, not many bands would be able to follow that up with an album closer as brutal and relentless as “Untruth” (which almost clocks in at a very un-grind five minutes).
ASG – ‘Blood Drive’ (Relapse)
Genre: Stoner/Desert Rock
There’s very little that’s bloody about the latest from North Carolina’sASG, but driving describes it perfectly. Hailing from the coastal city of Wilmington, ASG have perfected a heavy, but summery vibe that brings to mind driving with the top down, hair blowing in the wind, on a hot summer day.
There’s nothing doomy about this band. ASG is all about major chords, sing-along lyrics and Jason Shi’s strong, compelling voice. Blood Drive is much stronger overall than ASG’s last full-length, 2007’s Win Us Over.“Day’s Work,” “Scrappy’s Trip” and “Blues for Bama,” in which Shi’s voice really shines, are the standout tracks.
(Karen A. Mann)