Doomriders – Grand Blood


Artist

Album

Grand Blood

Label

Deathwish Inc.

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Black Tusk - Red Fang - Torche

Summary

Sludge metal vibes meet hardcore punk energy; dope riffs ensue.

Rating

75 / 100

On 2009 album ‘Darkness Come Alive‘, Boston metallers Doomriders crafted an engaging slice of sludge/doom riff wizardry that gladly avoided growing stale or falling to genre cliches – feeling altogether organic, exciting and alive.

Four years later, follow-up ‘Grand Blood‘ sees the quartet hold onto that freshness while shifting course a little; eschewing just a few of their past stoner metal aesthetics and introducing ten incendiary bursts of somewhat more reckless, hardcore-infused rock.

A short intro track leads into opener ‘New Pyramids’; a slow-burning, at-times misanthropic and powerful lead that in its pace maintains its immediacy and impact. Guitars build a fairly bleak textural background while frontman Nate Newton of Converge/Old Man Gloom fame snarls with a combination of desperation and vitriol, the sort of brilliantly grim pipes that stir up images of Blacklisted vocalist George Hirsch.

Mankind’ and title track ‘Grand Blood’ are fairly standard metallic, sludgey affairs, picking up the pace to lead into the likes of ‘Bad Vibes’ and ‘Dead Friends’ – tracks dripping with unchained punk energy. This kind of versatility helps rather than hampers the album’s vision, feeling sonically diverse while united in its adrenaline. To that end, ‘Gone to Hell’ is a slick rock ‘n’ roll number – comparable to the “desert-rock” stylings of Queens of the Stone Age.

Kurt Ballou – who plays in Converge with Newton – once again took the helm on production duties for the album and has expectedly maintained a balance between the record sounding polished and professional while still raw, visceral and chaotic.

Conclusion

With ‘Grand Blood’, Doomriders show a natural progression, stepping more and more into their own sound. Where this genre can often feel like variations on a theme, ‘Grand Blood’ is an engaging, forward-thinking release that’s as much at home in a skate park as in a smokey haze.

Tracklisting

1. New Pyramids
2. Mankind
3. Grand Blood
4. Bad Vibes
5. Dead Friends
6. Death in Heat
7. We Live in the Shadows
8. Gone to Hell
9. Back Taxes
10. Father Midnight

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