Sat 29th September 2007
At last... a self described 'sludge' band from the UK that don't rely on the all too obvious 'Iron Monkey/Eyehategod riff & growl' trick. I don't think I've been this relieved since Johnny Wilkinson decided he could make the Rugby World cup after all!
So just what is it that sets this Lancashire trio apart from the creatively numb pack? Well, as touted on their bio and other reviews there is a 'High On Fire' thing going on but if anything it's more in the feel than a specific sound - track three 'Kubrick Zirconia' has an opening riff that brings to mind the slowed down heaviness of say 'Face Of Oblivion' but it's mixed in with a seriously dark kind of attitude that you'd expect to find on some heroin induced Industrial effort... and this is where things get interesting!
Despite the use of no programmed instruments I can't help thinking of Ministry or Misery Loves Co. for some reason. Maybe it's the tightness of the playing, maybe it's the venom filled vocals, maybe it's the fact that the opening '(Eighteen And A Half Stone) Parts Unknown' flows like the All Blacks off the back of a scrum but there is a combination of raw human pounding and measured precision going on here. The result is the kind of sound that tells you this band would actually be very loud live rather than just claiming to be.
What doesn't hurt either is that all three songs are really well constructed with the rhythm section pinning down the feel on each track. A trick which allows the main riff on 'You, Foe' to swing rather than sound like it's trying to be damn heavy. On this evidence no effort is needed.
If this is just a demonstration of what Bastard Of The Skies can do then this band could well become 'Underground Kings'. This is seriously good stuff...we need to hear more from this band.