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Red Fang - Whales And Leeches

Red Fang
Whales And Leeches
by Vasilis Odontidis at 14 October 2013, 6:47 PM

With “Red Fang” and “Murder the Mountains” the beer loving stoner rock quartet from Portland, RED FANG, have won the hearts and mugs of the carefree bearded rockers around the globe with their merciless riffs and groove. The next installment “Whales and Leeches” - does the ninth track from “Red Fang” ring any bells? -  is here and another chapter of full force ale metal war lies before us. “Whales and Leeches” includes eleven tracks and runs for forty one minutes and all the songs except one seventh minute long span from two to four minutes. The cover of the album is sick, a surreal collage of whales, leeches, owls and other crazy things and is definitely one of my favorites of this year.

The album starts with a bombardment of killer songs. “DOEN”, “Blood Like Cream” (which was the first single of the album), “No Hope” and “Crows in Swine”. “Dawn Rising” is the longest track of the band, slow with great riffs and dominant attitude. The last four songs are more rock n roll oriented with great melodies but especially in “Failure” the MASTODON influences are overwhelming. I mean if somebody put this song to me saying guess the band, I would say MASTODON one hundred percent. Don’t get me wrong, the album has all the elements that characterize RED FANG. Killer riffs, relentless drums, colossal bass lines and epic vocal lines. The band evolved its sound as they mature as composers and the change is obvious throughout the album. The production is good but not what I expected compared to the previous albums. The band sounds less aggressive and raw and that is pictured on the drums and the guitars.

My final thoughts is that "Whales and Leeches" is a worthy successor of “Murder the Mountains” but the band seems to have turned to a not so raw sound (don’t know if “commercial” is more fitting to describe it). There are a lot of elements that remind me of MASTODON and fish Metal (whales, sound, vocals, compositions) and the bad thing about that is sometimes the way it sounds is so similar that it gets absurd. I am totally supporting the exploration of new territories but it is important for every band to maintain its personal sound. I loved songs like “DOEN”, “Blood Like Cream”, “Dawn Rising”, “1516” and “Every Little Twist” and I think that the album turned out really well. Ladies and gentleman, put on your armor, grab your beers, hold your swords and prepare to witness the summoning of “Whales and Leeches” and the oncoming onslaught.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. DOEN
2. Blood Like Cream
3. No Hope
4. Crows in Swine
5. Voices of the Dead
6. Behind the Light
7. Dawn Rising
8. Failure
9. 1516
10. This Animal
11. Every Little Twist
Lineup:
Aaron Beam - Bass, Vocals
Maurice Bryan Giles - Guitars, Vocals
David Sullivan - Guitars, Vocals
John Sherman – Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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