Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Idylls of Woe
Heaven and Hell Records
19 July 2019
The North Carolina, USA bunch brings together veterans of the scene in their area, by looking at Metal Archives, although the site seems to have incomplete information, but it’s obvious these musicians have been making music for years and years. The album is three threads: the traditional heavy metal sound, a grittier, blue-collar style. Another element is classic rock; the music has 1970s classic rock embedded all over the place. Lastly, classic-style doom has an important place, although they make sure to stay away from the super slow stuff; they keep things well balanced between rocking and the doom moments when they do get doomy.
All of the above is true, but it doesn’t really get at what this music is about. The swagger of big rock and roll, the fun-loving, big-riff songs with a rhythm section that knows how to do this thing. The drums and bass are not the loudest part of the music, but they have a way of getting those grooves that make people move, tap their feet or bang their heads. When a rhythm section like this one gets the space in the mix to do its job, it holds down the beat well. In turn, this opens the way for the guitars and vocals to come to the forefront much more harmoniously. When the band goes in a doom direction in full, the swagger does suffer a bit, given the slower tempo at work.
The singing is in some ways more classic rock than the glass-breaking high singing of heavy metal. It is not the polished and operatic voice but a bluesy, blue-collar rock and roll style. The singing is closer to the grit of classic rock of the 1970s and the late 1970s street heavy rock singing of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.