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Heavy Lord : Balls to All

If you're familiar with the sludgey Stoner Metal sound, you won't be in for many surprises with Heavy Lord.

From start to finish, if you're familiar with what sludgey Stoner Metal typically sounds like, you won't be in for many surprises. What you get out of Heavy Lord is an album where the bass-heavy sound is strong and a nice groove is consistently present amongst the band's slow to mid-tempo pacing. The drumming is persistent, albeit sometimes lacking in imagination. My main issue with the band are the unignorably bad clean vocals. I've heard a decent amount of bands who have planted their feet in this genre and although some of them have vocalists who shouldn't be fronting a band, this group definately takes the cake. When he growls or screams, he is fine... it works and I have zero problem with it. But for about 95% of the time when clean vocals are present, you question just how tone deaf the frontman is. I cannot go on without recommending the search for a vocal coach.

Putting that inconvenience aside, the other elements of the group create a good, although not quite great, sonic soundscape. The album has a lot of strong guitar riffs and some well crafted solos, but there are many times when the riffs and guitar-driven sections just drag on much longer than needed. The bass, as mentioned, brings a lot of nice low-end to the band's overall sound and the playing is significantly good for the style. My favorite track on the album has to be the 10 minute opus, 'Mare Tranquillatis', which is devoid of all clean vocals and finds itself driven by slow and hypnotic bass work for more than half of the song. Also worth noting is the last track on the album, 'Drown', which occasionally almost sounds like Kyuss or Queens Of The Stone Age, especially in the guitar work. All in all, if you cancel out the vocals that I've already complained about, the album is a good chunk of fuzzy, modern Black Sabbath worship that fans of the genre should be able to enjoy in occasional doses.

Reviewer's rating: 4/10


Tracklist :
1. Back When The Giants Ruled The Earth
2. Balls To All
3. Kick Teeth
4. Dieselweed
5. Fear The Beard
6. Untitled
7. Mare Tranquillatis
8. Drown

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Heavy Lord bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-11-10 by Jon Carr
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