Thinning The Herd - Oceans Rise
St. Mark's Records
Stoner Metal/Hard Rock
8 songs (34:36)
Release year: 2011
Thinning The Herd
Reviewed by Khelek

With a band name like Thinning The Herd you might expect some kind of brutal death metal or grindcore, but these guys are another little-known stoner metal band trying to make their way in the world. Hailing from my home state of New York, USA, these guys play a mixture of hard rock and stoner/doom metal that is easy to get into yet still has an unrefined edge to it. Instead of taking the faster, more radio-friendly approach of some modern stoner groups, these guys sound more inspired by the likes of Dozer and Black Sabbath. Most songs incorporate heavy, stripped down riffs and at times a sort of melancholy feeling of drifting aimlessly. There is also a definite lean towards southern rock influences that often works well with this type of sound. Overall it's a good combination that works quite well on this album.

I like the old-school, stripped down sound presented on the first track Oceans Rise. The vocals are clean yet keep a rough edge, the guitars have a very fuzzy quality like a lot of other stoner metal and everything is loud, except for the bass unfortunately, which tends to get lost in the mix here. Overall the production is pretty decent though. This is a mostly mid-paced, bluesy song that is easy to get into and gives you a good feeling for what these guys are all about. Look Behind speeds things up with quick guitars and the bass can be heard a bit more here, though it still tends to blend in with the drums. The guitar solos are a bit sloppy, perhaps on purpose, but unfortunately they're just not very interesting. Defiler begins with a pretty solid guitar lead, and the song once again has a great bluesy feeling produced by the very fuzzy, overdriven guitars and the rough vocals of Gavin Spielman. The song loses a bit of momentum towards the middle, but overall it's another good song. Binge also presents strong riffs and an energetic bassline that you can't help but headbang to. On Fire has big riffs and wailing guitars that seem somewhat inspired by Sleep. The song is just a few steps away from being sludge; a crushing, bluesy atmosphere. Definitely a good song to finish the album off with, leaving you feeling like you just walked through a scorching desert with no hope of rescue.

Some of the songs, even the better ones, can tend to get a bit repetitive, but in this genre you're usually not looking for musical rocket science. Nevertheless I think these guys could easily take this sound a step further and write some more interesting material. Though the album is rough around the edges, it still has some great songs. It's definitely a good album to have on in the background while playing a game or driving, but it's also energetic enough to just put on and rock out to. For the most part I have found Oceans Rise to be a solid album that shows a young band with talent, let's hope they keep it going.

Killing Songs :
Oceans Rise, Defiler, Binge, On Fire
Khelek quoted 74 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:04 pm
View and Post comments