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Rebreather : Starchild/Rebreather Split EP



This is one of the most monstrously heavy releases of the year, by two bands who routinely level cities with an intensity not seen since the Viking days of yore. It's hard to believe that there's a single building left in Waycross, Georgia, home base of cosmic doomsters Starchild. These bad mofos have been a personal favourite for the past year, reinventing 'Sabbath with an original interpretation timeless in its combination of classic heavy references and up-to-date feeling. They slay, they crush, they kill. Their carefully structured songs, harnessing the hypnotic power of repetition, boast the considerable echoing vocal talents and guitar prowess of Rick Bennett, not to mention the abilities of bassist Kenny O'Bara. He seems to have an intuitive feeling about when to rebel and when to play along. And the drums...ah yes...that Jucifer-like pounding must come from a 10-pound set of mallets instead of conventional drumsticks. That rhythm really brings the doom! But what really sets Starchild apart are the wonderful, spiritual lyrics. They're obsessed with cosmic meaning and almost Hawkwind-like in their druggy abstraction. Starchild's songs on this EP, which circulated some months ago as part of a demo, are well matched in their slow, stomping, doomy melodicism. These guys know how to harness the power of the dinosaur!

I confess that I'm not the world's foremost expert on Rebreather. I saw them at SHOD 2 in Youngstown, and heard a demo a couple of years later. I really dug their brand of heavy, screaming sludge, but somehow sorta kinda lost track of them in the past year or two. So I welcomed this opportunity to catch up with Youngstown's finest, and they've got a great collection o' tuneage this go 'round, highlighting the group chemistry that is their trademark. The sludgey, passionate vokills that I remember are still very much in evidence, but there are also some clean, melodic vocals as well. The songs are tight as a nun's bung, featuring Everest-style riffs that take the back of your head off as casually as a nuclear explosion snuffs out a fly. Rebreather has matured, and it's all good.

It's easy to see why so many people think that Rebreather lives very close to the heart of the heavy. It looks to me like Starchild are camped out in the same general neighbourhood. Don't even bother to try to fight the power, just give in and get what is sure to be one of the year's best discs. It's the right thing to do.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
Starchild:
1. Rainbow
2. War of the Worlds
3. Psychonaut

Rebreather:
4. Come to the Back/Madre
5. Helena Song
6. Matter Vacuum

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes.

Visit the Rebreather bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
Aesthetic Death
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