For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

AGALLOCH, who seem to be getting more and more press with every release, are putting out the full-length The Serpent and the Sphere on Profound Lore. The most immediately striking thing here is the mood. This is dark and takes the listener on a journey. Not one track alone can really sum this up: it’s glacial and brooding, moody and intense. Some have referred to them as black metal, but that’s not really what’s here.  This is doom, if you don’t know already, and the production by Billy Anderson really gives life to this thing; there is a spatial quality that really allows the listener to delve into the dynamics and feel of the overall package. To sum this up tidily in one paragraph is pretty difficult. It’s not all downtrodden funeral dirges; there’s also a dreamlike quality, without making this “metalgaze.”  I’m not entirely sure this has sunk in for me after one listen, but mark my words: This is a sleeper. 8 Fucking Pecks.
Let’s stay in the doom category, shall we? VALLENFYRE are releasing their second full-length, Splinters, and unlike the aforementioned, this is death-doom. Some have called this an “old-school death vanity project,” and those people couldn’t be more wrong. This record is an exercise in death-doom, and pummels with intensity.  Don’t get me pecking wrong; this isn’t pure doom. There are some straight-up death metal jams and riffs aplenty.  The buzz here on the bass and guitars really sticks out and gives this an almost Swedish death style, but Vallenfyre create something uniquely their own.  I’m liking it. I liked their debut, but this slays it. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Let’s go DOWN the rabbit hole, as DOWN are releasing the second part in their EP series: Down 4, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. OK, I added the electric boogaloo part. I’m not too sure of what’s going on here. Admittedly, I’ve never really been the biggest fan of them. I try to give them a fair shake. It’s just not really my thing, you see, and this is not an exception.  This has that southern kinda stoner vibe that they’re known for, and I’ll say fans of this will not be disappointed, as they never really stray from that. It’s just not for me.  Sabbathy groove riffs with Phil singing: There, I said it. So, if you likethis sort of thing, by all means, get this. It’s a decent release. It will not, however, convert the doubtful. 6-7 Fucking Pecks.