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Review: Red Fang – Whales and Leeches – think Dark, Wild and Mighty!

Well, our favourite beer swilling Stoner-Metal-Heads are back! Red Fang introduce their mighty Whales and Leeches, an incredible follow up album to Murder the Mountains, which leaves the ears ringing and the bones shaking.

Lets start by saying this album is less punchy than their previous work. W&L as a whole is darker and much more, ‘wild’. That’s not to say that each song doesn’t punch straight through a brick wall, but the album has a noticeably more dissonant sound (check out ‘Failure’ and ‘1516’).

The title track ‘DOEN’ should explain almost everything you need to know about the approach to ‘W&L’, boasting one of the most disgustingly crushing fuzz tones since Electric Wizard’s – Dopethrone. Along side such ravenous, catchy riffs as ‘No Hope’ and ‘Blood like Cream’, stands the most poignant aspect of W&L; the vocals. This album’s vocal arrangements are absolutely stunning; check out the epic seven minute ‘Dawn Rising’, which will have you swaying to soundscapes and harmonies remnant of Sound Garden’s Chris Cornell or Sleep’s legendary Matt Pike.

The progression from Red Fang’s self-titled album to ‘W&L’ shows us that these no-nonsense riff machines are maturing, not that they were ever a party band; Red Fang have always brought a sense of credibility to the table (despite what their videos might portray). The psychedelic influence of Stoner-Metal’s past is much clearer in this album, and the production is tighter than ever on Whales and Leeches. Aside from the odd throwaway track on the album, W&L shows that Red Fang are carving out their own place in the canon of metal music.  This album may not push the boundaries of the genre like Mastodon might, but it does offer excellent songwriting and premium Stoner-Metal riffs that make you want to break an oak tree over your leg. This is Wild!

Rating 8.7/10

Written by Matthew Iredale

 

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