Groove Metal

We Are Going To Be Awesome

Artist: 
QUOR
Label: 
QUOR Music

Local band out of San Diego. Bands that send me 4 copies of their CD are usually pretty crappy, but these guys really surprised me. They have heavy, groove-driven riffs, soaring choruses, a hint of hardcore, and just the right amount of melodic sensibility. This four-song EP is a pretty good listen and likely a good indicator of things to come.

Sounds Like: 
A mix of Pantera, Mastodon, and Alice in Chains
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
01/31/2013

Machine F**king Head Live - Sampler

Artist: 
Machine Head
Label: 
Roadrunner Records

Being a Bay Area native that has had the pleasure of going to 2 Machine Head hometown shows, I can safely say that this album effectively catches the essence of the crushing brutality that is their live act. Frontman Robb Flynn's vocals are remarkably on par with his work on the records, and he manages to keep the crowd engaged and pumped up throughout their performances in the UK. The riffs are dark and heavy, the drums are tight, and it's laced with just the right amount of melody. MACHINE FUCKING HEAD!

Sounds Like: 
DevilDriver
Sounds Like: 
Pantera
Sounds Like: 
Lamb of God
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
01/31/2013

L'Enfant Sauvage

Artist: 
Gojira
Label: 
Roadrunner

The progressive hippie juggernaut from France shows no signs of stopping for their fifth full-length album. It's even good enough to impress those pretentious hipsters at Pitchfork. (I'll let you be the judge of whether that's a good or bad thing.) But make no mistake: the riffs are crushing, the lyrics are well-written, and the whole album is a marriage of brawn and brains that is undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2012.

Sounds Like: 
Mastodon
Sounds Like: 
Cynic
Sounds Like: 
Strapping Young Lad
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
08/28/2012

Vulgar Display of Power - 20th Anniversary Edition

Artist: 
Pantera
Label: 
Atco/Rhino

Vulgar Display of Power had a much more direct, aggressive, "Fuck You!" feel to it than Pantera's previous album, 'Cowboys from Hell.' They recorded this album with the intent of making up for the lack of heaviness on Metallica's Black Album and to keep the thrash flag flying in the early 90's, an era when bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth were killing heavy, guitar-driven rock. Classics like "Mouth for War," "Fucking Hostile," and of course, "Walk" make this a hard-hitting classic. Includes the previously unreleased song "Piss."

Sounds Like: 
Exhorder
Sounds Like: 
Sepultura
Sounds Like: 
Slayer
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
08/28/2012

Piss (single)

Artist: 
Pantera
Label: 
Rhino Records

 This is a recently-unearthed track from the Vulgar Display of Power sessions. It's a really groovy song that reminds me of the song Cowboys from Hell quite a bit. The late Dimebag Darrell shines through with really catchy intro/chorus riffs and a killer guitar solo. Phil Anselmo dominates the verses with his lyrics, and Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown maintain the heavy groove that became Pantera's calling card. They may not be the heaviest band to have existed, but the cowboys from hell still hold a monopoly on anything that kicks ass. It's good to hear a lost track from these guys.

Sounds Like: 
PAN. MOTHER. FUCKING. TERA.
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
04/12/2012

De Vermis Mysteriis

Artist: 
High on Fire
Label: 
E1 Music

 This is a screamer, and its as brutal as a Mastodon album (and then some). It's not death metal, but has some of the best growling that I've ever heard on a metal album. Combine that with consistently heavy guitars and an oddly audible bass, you get this album. Listening to the lyrics, it sounds mostly like a concept album, tied in with mostly fantasy themes. However, that's usually common with most metal albums.

Sounds Like: 
Mastodon
Sounds Like: 
Meshuggah
Name: 
Dave Hentz
Date Reviewed: 
04/11/2012

Resolution

Artist: 
Lamb of God
Label: 
Roadrunner Records

 In my opinion, Lamb of God still have yet to top their 2003 album "As The Palaces Burn." Their last album, "Wrath," was not exactly memorable. Luckily, this album is a step up from "Wrath," and the Virginia five-piece have made a more memorable album. You probably know what they sound like by now, but the musicianship is more memorable this time around.

Sounds Like: 
Pantera
Sounds Like: 
Chimaira
Sounds Like: 
DevilDriver
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
03/02/2012

Beast

Artist: 
Devildriver
Label: 
Roadrunner Records

Dez Fafara could not have picked a better album title: this album is VERY beastly. Compared to 2009's Pray for Villains, which had a sort of majestic, soaring feel to it, this album sounds much darker, slightly more twisted, and has a slightly more claustrophobic feel to it. The album reminds me a lot more of their 2007 album, The Last Kind Words, than anything. It's a really good album, balancing just the right amount of pummeling riffs, roaring vocals, and blast beats with groove and melody, a sound that Devildriver has pretty much trademarked now.

Sounds Like: 
Machine Head
Sounds Like: 
Arch Enemy
Sounds Like: 
Chimaira
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
02/03/2011

The Burn & Cry

Artist: 
The Burn & Cry
Label: 
Unsigned

It just goes to show you: you can't judge a book (or, in this case, a CD) by it's cover. I picked this up expecting some sort of metalcore band, but The Burn & Cry actually turned out to be a Southern/Groove metal band. There's nothing horribly spectacular about them as musicians, but MAN, they can write some good riffs. They do venture into the realm of nu metal a couple of times, and the quieter songs do get a little boring after a while, but overall, this is a fairly solid album with some very standout tracks.

Sounds Like: 
Pantera
Sounds Like: 
Clutch
Sounds Like: 
Black Sabbath
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
10/13/2010

Stampede

Artist: 
Hellyeah
Label: 
Epic Records

This super band is still a super band. Hellyeah's album "Stampede" is raw and rough. These are the kind of songs that I would be listening to in a moss pit or circle pit. "Stampede is heavy, raw, and powerful, but I think it lacks some of the intensity I heard in their first album, but other than that its definitely still Hellyeah, cussing and swearing like a sailor! The best tracks on this album are "Cowboy Way", "Hell Of A Time," and "Stampede." Due to cursing "Cowboy Way" and "Hell of A Time" can't be played on air. Still these songs are raw and brutal just like they should be!

Sounds Like: 
Mudvayne
Sounds Like: 
Pantera
Name: 
Anthony Dominguez