One of my finds of 2017 was the flares the frontman of this band wears. I mean. No. The music.
Yes. Be in no doubt this is one of the most exciting bands I have seen live in a long time. Sheer visceral energy. The bottom end of 84 drop tuned 8 strings from a band that has no bass player. That's right. No bass.... No shut up. This band doesn't need one. I don't care who your favourite bass player is...
How does the recorded material measure up?
It takes me right back to seeing them at the aftermath of Uprising festival. The crowd slowly gathering in unison in full eagerness and equal intrigue. A band that is just a three piece creating such an enormous and powerful sound is always a winning combination with festival crowds... and it was.
Album opener “My Leviathan” is 'orrible as balls. I mean it in the most overtly optimistic context. Guttural vocals that tear at your ears (nicely). Exquisite delivery on every instrument enables the song to breath regardless of it being a mass of volume and tenacity.
I have only seen this band twice and my memory is horrendously bad. Doesn't stop me recognising the melodic invitation of “So They Walk” a testament to great songwriting. I distinctly remember the scream at 1:17. The moment everyone in the crowd nods in agreement “fuck yeah bro, these are well sick innit” or something...
“Serpentine” doing the Holy Diver thing of a pointless drawn out intro. Just slam into the riff bastards. I mean please? A more subdued song after the vocal assault from the previous two songs. We hear the diversity in the vocals and it's a welcome change of pace.
HOW IS THERE NO BASS? Wait we covered this. The singer/guitarist (Bones) has a mashed up Epiphone which is tainted with the echoes of guitar abuse but it has given the band a distinct identity and sound. Once “Centralia” explodes into life we have a bluesy 70's style vibe going on but with a modern drum production. It's confusing, but it works. The song grooves and grooves, it is relentless and a real gem in the album that keeps on giving with every listen.
The doomiest offering comes from “Maedads” the real light and shade within the vocals is sublime throughout this track. Riff tastic.
Final track “Wrath of Aphrodite” stands out to me as the most compositionally interesting. It is full of dynamic changes and keeps me guessing. Again we see another dimension in Bones' voice. I feel he is a singer that has an immense arsenal he keeps to himself and just serves whatever the song requires, there is never unnecessary vocals within this record. It's a clear and concise piece. A noisy, feedback befuddled ending brings this album achingly to a close. Leaves me wanting more.
Now for a proggy, Toto and Abba loving fan like myself I am shocked I enjoyed this.
Sometimes bands become irrelevant to what genre they are, great music is great music and this is an undeniably great record. Buy it now.