Today, I take a look at some awesome headbangin’ music from two great metal bands, indie noise rock band A Place to Bury Strangers, grungers Slothrust, and a small up and coming prog metal band from Long Island called Optic.


Austin, Texas based heavy metal band The Sword released their latest album, Apocryphon late last year, and it is an incredible record that reminds me of some of the best Ozzy era Black Sabbath albums.  Singer and guitarist John D. Cronise’s voice is a perfect complement to the heavy guitar riffs he and fellow guitarist Kyle Shutt lay down on Apocryphon.  That, along with the rhythm section of bassist Bryan Ritchie and drummer Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III hit hard and create an incredible sound that left me speechless the first time I saw these guys perform live.  The Sword have toured with some legendary metal acts including Metallica and Lamb of God. If you’re a fan of classic metal bands like Black Sabbath or modern stoner metal like Clutch, check these guys out!


Red Fang are a Portland, Oregon based heavy metal band, and released their latest album, Whales and Leeches in October.  The album features a lot of heavy guitar riffs, driving drums, and fierce solos.  The music is fast pace and borders between metal and punk throughout. It is a hard rocking record. A lot of people compare these guys to the Sword, but I don’t see it, I guess they’re contemporaries, but I’d compare Red Fang more to Mastodon, Queens of The Stone Age, or Motorhead than to Black Sabbath, their music is a bit more fast paced, but the Sabbath and Sleep influence is definitely there.


Brooklyn based noise rockers, A Place To Bury Strangers blend a lot of different genres and influences to create a frenetic wall of sound.  They released their latest LP, Worship in 2012, and are currently working on a new record.  Their sound is a blend of shoegaze, psychedelia, post-punk, and even a little metal.  This band has crazy energy live, bringing strobes, fog machines, and destroying equipment on stage. They’re intense, and if you dig stuff like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, or Nine Inch Nails, check these guys out, and keep an eye out for an upcoming album in 2014!


Slothrust is an American grunge band.  The members, singer and guitarist Leah Wellbaum, bassist Kyle Bann and drummer Will Gorin attended school for jazz and blues music, and that shows in their self-described “blues-influenced grunge” style.  They released their first album, Feels Your Pain in 2012 and are working to release their next LP in 2014.  Their music is a contemporary take on some of the awesome grunge bands of the 90’s, with a raw production feel that fits the style incredibly well.  Songs like “7:30 Am” shows the versatility of Slothrust, with a bit of a bluesy bass line with distorted guitar work that is 100% grunge.   There’s a lot of that on the record, some songs are jazzy, some bluesy, but all have a bit of a Dinosaur Jr. or Nirvana vibe to them, it’s great. Check out Slothrust, you won’t be disappointed.


Optic are a progressive metal band from Long Island, NY. They released their first full length record, Iris In in 2013.  Long Island has a lot of young metal bands out there, and a lot of them are influenced by one another, but Optic’s music is a bit more mature than some of the other music coming out of that scene.  These guys are incredibly talented musicians, the guitar work is impressive, the drums are incredible, and the vocals change from screaming and growling to sounding almost like Geddy Lee within moments’ notice.  Optic  aren’t just progressive metal, they also take influences from power and speed metal.  Check these guys out if you enjoy stuff like Dream Theater.  Iris In is a very strong debut for this young band who are just getting started.

Here’s “Falling From The Sky” a 10 minute track off of Iris In.

Above image taken by Sandy Carson, from The Sword’s Facebook page

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