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XII Boar - Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops

XII Boar
Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops
by Daniel Fox at 09 January 2017, 3:43 PM

XII BOAR (see; twelve-bore) is a proprietor of Southern Metal by some lads in the North, and by the North, I mean Hampshire, UK. “Beyond the Valley of the Triclops” is their second album to date, released near the end of 2016. The Bandcamp blurb has done the work for me: “a huge slab of ear-splitting leads, sonic riffs, filthy bass lines, whiskey-drenched vocals and sweet southern grooves”. I have no idea what “whiskey-drenched vocals” are, but everything else seems spot on.

First listeners will note, right off the bat, the surprising cleanliness of the production, as opposed to being a generic, fuzzy mess, right after they ‘notice’ the album cover. Seriously, I love what Mr. Triclops has done with the place; those furnishings are exquisite, especially the plush upholstery. As for the music, the MOTORHEAD influences are crystal-clear, right down to the apt adjective uttered before the groovy throwdown in “Beyond The Valley”: “boogie”. Being able to hear a razor-edged, growly bass underneath the thick riffage is a hit in this song, and provides an earthy counter to the slick, bluesy guitar leads, right up until the band brings down the heavy. As opposed to throwing out a few syncopated open notes like some other, less convincing ‘groove metal’ bands, the riffs on this album are given a tangible weight. That is, until, one immediately comes upon songs like “The Hustle”, with the upbeat and fun “biker music” sound, with the riffs swaggering with an all-American swing (reminder: these lads ARE actually from the UK).

“El Mucho Grande” is, perhaps, the best songs the album, throwing in both more Punk and heavier Metal vibes in with the fun blend of Southern stuff. The cleaner vocals in this song have a comically Elvis-like edge to them, before strangely transitioning into the raspy screams you’d find in an obscure-but-awesome, early-nineties USDM band. “Penetrator” is a thrilling number that almost stumbles into Thrash territory, with… Quite frankly, cringeworthy lyrics, but is a fun jig nonetheless. Save for “Black and Blues” which, funnily enough, is a rather bluesy song, the rest of the album seems to melt into homogeny, and I was losing interest in finishing it by the time the last song came on, “Triclops”.

To me, this is the kind of album I would dissect and sprinkle a few standouts into a play list, and certainly not something I could stand listening to in full. However, it presents something intriguing for truly hardcore stoner and southern fans, with a crisp and razor-edged production not found in many other bands under the genre.

3 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. Beyond The Valley
3. The Hustle
4. Strange Kinda Lonesome
5. El Mucho Grande
6. Welcome To Your Doom
7. Penetrator
8. Abyssal Lord
9. Black and Blues
10. Jupiter Aligns
11. Beggars Roost
12. Triclops
Tommy Hardrocks - Guitar & Vocals
Adam "Bad-Dog" Thomas - Bass & Backing Vocals
Dave Wilbraham - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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