Heave Blood and Die – Vol II

Rating

Now, based on the band name you’re probably thinking I’m about to review a grindcore outfit, or maybe an uber-kvlt black metal brigade. Well no, not even close—although they are from Norway. But their sound is far removed from the grim, frostbitten forest. Instead, they’re more akin to the Georgia prog-sludge of early Baroness or earlier Mastodon.

Their second album starts off with the heavy churn of “Plague,” a pretty decent mid-tempo tune with some head-nodding breakdowns. “Harakiri” slows things down, a catchy, seven-minute melodic sludge number complete with soaring keyboards. “Warsaw” has more of a Sleep/OM vibe, a chilled-out, down-tempo, vaguely oriental-sounding number (although the vocals lean closer to Scott Kelly of Neurosis), before they briskly pick up the pace past the three-minute mark, then take things into more spacey territory.

I’m digging the interplay between the synths and the doom riffs on “Countercult,” while “Wealth is Nothing” actually throws a couple of blasting black-metal passages into the mix. I guess they’re still Norwegian, after all.

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Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.0 Rating