ASG – Blood Drive

ASG-Blood-Drive

By Gruesome Greg

I’ve always kinda wondered whether this band’s name actually stands for All-Star Game, but maybe that’s just me. Also, they always seem to be the support band that drops off the tour before it comes to Canada, so I’ve never seen ‘em live or anything. Perhaps this album, their first full-length in six years, will warrant a headlining jaunt?

Anyhoo, the Blood Drive begins with an “Avalanche,” this number hitting us off the bat with a barrage of heavy riffage balanced by incredibly high-pitched vocals soaring through the upper register. The title track also strikes a delicate balance between heavy, stoner rock riffs and soaring, spacey vocals, which still seem somewhat outta place, perhaps a little too high in the mix. “Day’s Work” incorporates a solid stoner/doom riff with a bit more vocal venom before morphing into a mellow, meandering psych section with some squealing reverb—it’s a pretty sweet tune.

“Castlestorm” actually features some harsh screams, along with some noodly, almost proggy riffage that recalls Black Pyramid, pre-wimpy Baroness, and even Iron Maiden in the pre-chorus. (Dig those double leads, dude!) The album take a more mellow turn with “Blues for Bama” and “Earthwalk” before the surprisingly heavy “Children’s Music” brings things back into uplifting post-sludge territory.

Uplifting post-sludge!? I think I just coined a new sub-genre…

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.