Thursday 27 October 2016

Thought Eater / Iron Jawed Guru - Vortex 6 (Album Review)

Release date: October 21st 2016. Label: Grimoire Records. Format: CD/DD

Vortex 6 – Tracklisting

1.Thought Eater - Vortex 6 03:06
2.Thought Eater - Crystal Maze 05:17
3.Thought Eater - Crushing Metaphysical Crisis 05:20
4.Thought Eater - Gift of Death 03:48
5.Iron Jawed Guru - Black Fortress 04:24
6.Iron Jawed Guru - Emerald Seer 03:10
7.Iron Jawed Guru - Glaive 02:57
8.Iron Jawed Guru - Widow of the Web 06:23

Thought Eater - Band Members:

Douglas Griffith (guitar)
Darin Tambascio (12 string bass, 12 string guitar on "Gift of Death")
Bobby Murray (drums)

Iron Jawed Guru - Band Members

Mike Lorenzen (guitar, octave pedal)
Roy Douglas Brewer (drums)


Vortex 6 is a split album release between two Instrumental Sludge/Stoner Metal Bands. Thought Eater and Iron Jawed Guru. Both bands play very different music to each other.

Thought Eater play Sludge/Stoner Metal with a Progressive Math Rock feel to their music. Parts Black Sabbath and High On Fire but with a more experimental edge.

Iron Jawed Guru play a more Stoner/Post-Rock/Post-Metal sound that gives them a lot of scope to play with their music.

Thought Eater's side is a colossally heavy affair with the band showing their passion for all things progressive. They do play some intriguing riffs and they excel in changing the tempo from fast-paced Sludge/Stoner riffs to the more classic sounding Doom Metal sounds that appear from time-to-time.

Crystal Maze and Crushing Metaphysical Crisis are the standout tracks where Thought Eater excel the most as they create some fantastic original music of their own. A doomy psychedelic affair with moments of heavy progressive doom based sounds. Thought Eater have quite a demonic playful vibe to their music. Parts of their music is slightly creepy but with a sense of huge fun as well. .

Iron Jawed Guru is a duo who excel in confusing the hell out of the audience. Do they play Stoner Rock, Post-Metal, Prog Rock, Psych Rock!!!! - It's hard to say as the band play a mixture of those genres and then some. Their side of the split is just as crazy and experimental as Thought Eater though it's more focused and perhaps more riff-orientated.

The band's first track – Black Fortress – has shades of Kyuss, Karma To Burn and Russian Circles running through it. It's quite a dark song to open with but it has some great riffs driving the song to it's natural conclusion.

Second track – Emerald Seer – is a more stripped back affair with the band opting for a faster style of Instrumental Stoner/Sludge Rock with moments of psychedelic rock being added to great effect.

Third track – Glaive – carries on the same vibe as Emerald Seer but the band adding a Desert Rock groove with shades of classic 90s sounding Stoner Rock/Metal.

The final track – Widow Of The Web – is perhaps Iron Jawed Guru's standout song on the album. It offers more of the same sounds heard on their previous tracks but on a more epic and experimental scale.

Vortex 6 is one of the more intriguing and exciting split albums I've heard this year. Both bands have created an excellent slice of Experimental Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs. It's hard to say which side I dig the most. One moment it's Thought Eater and the next it's Iron Jawed Guru. I will say that Vortex 6 is a great album to have your in collection if you're a serious fan of Instrumental Sludge/Stoner Metal.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thought Eater Links:

Iron Jawed Guru Links:

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