Conan - Horseback Battle Hammer
Aurora Borealis
4 songs (32:33)
Release year: 2010
Official Myspace, Aurora Borealis
Reviewed by Charles
After wondering about caveman-themed metal in relation to Goat the head last week, meet the only other band I can think of that falls into that illustrious bracket. Similar thematics, perhaps, but entirely different execution. Calling themselves Caveman Battle Doom, Liverpool’s Conan specialise in the kind of ultra-slow fuzzil-fuelled juggernauts that compete with Electric Wizard to see who can get from A to B the slowest without simply collapsing in on itself into a stationary slump. The four tracks comprising this EP will be of undoubted interest to any admirer of stoner doom’s more lethargic ends. It’s comparable in many ways to Yob or Sleep (is the cover some kind of homage to Dopesmoker?) but a bit more dour, forsaking those bands’ hypnotically epic approaches for a grimy procession of humble, sullen-faced rock riffs, ever-menaced by the hostile sounds of formless amplifier worship that converge from all angles.

The big thing Horseback Battle Hammer has going for it is its sound. It’s hellish, frankly, particularly when the band is at its slowest. So deep and overloaded with scuzz are the notes comprising Krull, for example, that each chord feels like it is sinking into a stinking bog before its successor belly flops in on top of it, pushing it well and truly under. The vocals sound somehow distant, as if they are calling to you from the bank, and you have been dragged underneath with the riffs a concrete block around your feet. Fortunately for those of us less fanatically devoted to slowness, there are occasional accelerations which serve to plunge an arm in, dragging you up towards the light again. The extreme drone rumbling that opens Dying Giant repeatedly solidifies into a stomping, early-Cathedral backbeat and gives way again, before dropping you back deeper than ever into the deeply unhappy murk of closer Sea Lord.

For the eccentrics that appreciate this sort of thing, this is a promising collection that takes the doped-up riffing of Electric Wizard and cruelly exposes it to some of the more extreme elements that have converged upon the doom scene in recent times. A worthy feat, though one which is unlikely to make the world a happier place.

Killing Songs :
Charles quoted no quote
Other albums by Conan that we have reviewed:
Conan - Revengeance reviewed by Andy and quoted 93 / 100
Conan - Blood Eagle reviewed by Andy and quoted 93 / 100
Conan - Monnos reviewed by Stefan and quoted 92 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 8 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:17 pm
View and Post comments