Mon 23rd January 2006
I know these secondary reviews are supposed to show a different opinion to that of the main review, and I guess this does in a way as it's my perceptions of the album, but I have to say I agree with Pete on a lot of what he's said. "So why bother doing one then?" you may ask. Well, I feel the need to re-iterate the positive sentiments because this album really is that good. Basically everyone who has even a passing interest in the nebulous world of Stoner, Sludge and Doom should pick up this album. O.K.? Good. Then let's begin.
The album kicks off with the subtle 'Flee The Temple' a 30 or so second ditty that's basically a nice little picked progression on a clean guitar, then the feedback creeps in and we kick off the first track proper the storming 'Nordic Warrior'. It's all growls and pounding uptempo riffery until the last minute or so when it breaks down into a groovy Sludge riff that makes you feel like gurning, stomping round the room and throwing 'the horns' like a maniac. Production wise, it's quite a raw experience, which suits the material down to the ground. If things got too polished I think the impact would be lessened. The guitars sound suitably grimy and in your face and the vocals are well up in the mix so you get every spit flecked word.
'Catacombs' ups the pace and is out the traps and gone before it really settles into any kind of groove, not a bad thing, but when the next tracks are the amazing trio of 'No Claw Draw', 'Spider Web' and 'Cobra' it feels a little less focussed. These three really are some of the finest gems in Among The Missing's crown, the three tracks just work together so well that I really can't imagine them being played seperately in a live situation. 'No Claw Draw' is a screaming mid paced ode to the joys of weed and feature a great dual vocal assault before leading into the raging Dukes Of Nothing meets Iron Monkey bluster of 'Spider Web'. 'Cobra' closes the trinity in style with it's hardcore almost punk leanings and another inspired dual vocal. Great stuff.
'Ten Pounds Of Fuck' and 'The Sleepwalker' carry on in a similar vein with the former featuring a shout along gang vocal in the chorus and the latter really dropping the pace for a classic Doom workout with ever shifting dynamics. 'Retribution In Burtons', 'Evelyn Warlord' and 'Take A Drag' close out the album in style (and then there's the sneaky unlisted extra track of course) and by the end if you're not left with a big grin on your face then you obviously never really liked Metal in the first place.
One of the best albums to come creeping, screaming, growling and grinding out of the UK underground in the past 10 years, I kid you not.