Mojo’s Pick of the Week – The Watchers: Black Abyss

Watchers Black AbyssMore than a few people have called this one of the best heavy releases of 2018, and for good reason! The first full length album from San Francisco Bay Area supergroup The Watchers is a killer collection of doomy riffage that is a must have for any fan of Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Black Label Society. Mixed by legendary Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth), Black Abyss is essentially a future classic full of solid songs and heavy riffs.

Vocalist Tim Narducci (Spiralarms, White Witch Canyon) sings of aliens, lust, and alienation accompanied by the understated guitar fury of Jeremy Von Epp (BlackGates), over the beefy battery provided by Cornbread (Spiralarms, White Witch Canyon) and Carter Kennedy (Orchid).

Standout tracks: Black Abyss, Buzzard, Seven Tenets. A video is on the way for Seven Tenets. 

Catch The Watchers this weekend at the Maryland Doom Fest with labelmates and local favorites ZED!

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Stone Temple Pilots (2018)

STP CoverStone Temple Pilots have returned with a fresh energy along with new singer Jeff Gutt, whose vocals and delivery are nearly indistinguishable from the late Scott Weiland. This new self-titled album sounds like it could have been recorded right after “Tiny Music…” and sounds frankly even more similar to the better “Vol. 4” that preceded it.

Full of fire and great songs like “Meadow”, “Thought She’d Be Mine”, “Roll Me Under”, and the Beatles-y “Never Enough”, they suddenly sound like a band at the top of their game with something to prove. And they prove it. This album is all killer, no filler. The DeLeo Brothers and drummer Eric Kretz are playing with what seems like a renewed energy, and Jeff Gutt channels his best Scott impression to make this the next step they were never able to take before. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while and it does not disappoint!

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Judas Priest: Firepower

A revitalized Judas Priest rises from the flames with their latest effort, the 18th studio album in their remarkably long career. Firepower is honestly Priest’s best album since 1990’s “Painkiller”, sounding like they never missed a step in between. Producer Tom Allom is back for the first time since “Ram it Down”, along with co-producer Andy Sneap (Slayer, Accept).

Younger gun Richie Faulkner has taken over former founding member K.K. Downing’s spot at lead guitar, yet the riffs are classic Priest and the tones never better. Sadly, Glenn Tipton has bowed out of the album tour except for special appearances due to Parkinson’s Disease, but Metal God Rob Halford continues to carry the torch with his always-distinctive and surprisingly agile vocals. Andy Sneap will be taking Glenn’s place on the tour.

As far as subject matter, Priest haven’t strayed from their formula of dystopic, post-apocalyptic anthems and scenes of godlike, archetypal warriors, but if it’s been working this long, why mess with that? It’s what they do best! Top songs: “Firepower”, “Never the Heroes”, “Rising from Ruins”, and “Necromancer”.

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