Tue 5th February 2019
Winsconsin's Wardehns lay their cards down from the off - point 1, look at that album cover art. This is metal. The press pack talks of High on Fire and 3 Inches of Blood, and, while I normally try to ignore the suggestive blurbs and find my own words, its hard to ignore how much on the head they have hit this particular nail.
The opener is slightly, disarmingly less blood and thunder, and more progressive doom - instrumental and always interesting - it is genuinely excellent, and sets an intrigue immediately. Second track Tyranian is more akin to the descriptors and artwork, metal of storms and war. Denim Dogs could be a Saxon title, the song bringing a punk stimulation to a gruff sludge approximation of a NWOBHM anthem.
There are some swampy riffs littered around the rest of the album, with Fangs and Gills standing out in particular. It is limited elsewhere, all the right noises without enough gravitas or originality to make it above the level of passable.
I could easy write this off as a good bit of Motorhead-fuelled rollicking metal frolics, but there's two faults to that statement - that there's a good, creative band in here, with some strong moments already on show on Now Cometh the Foul, and mainly that "writing them off" is probably the wrong thing to say for a statement you'd guess the band would be happy to self identify with.