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High N Heavy - V

High N Heavy
V
by Eric Poulin at 12 July 2021, 10:21 PM

HIGH N’ HEAVY is a doom/ hard rock band that started in 2014 and hails New Bedford, Massachusetts. This is their latest full-length record entitled “V” released through Electric Valley Records on May 28th, 2021. From the first notes of incredibly thick fuzz in the guitars of “Cleansed with Blood” you are immediately immersed in the deep sounds of John Steele and the high caliber vocals of Kris Fortin who bears some resemblances to the vocals in PALLBEARER and ISOLE. The song pretty much maintains a slow SABBATH-esque tempo, like the legendary “Sabotage” album. There some great passion displayed in the vocal delivery throughout the song, and it really has a mesmerizing quality from beginning to end.

“Gather Flame” is a bit dirtier and more rock-oriented, but nonetheless quickens the tempo a little more than the opener and adds some higher notes in the vocal registry. There is bit more contrast between how the vocals are portrayed and the more intense musical direction the song possesses. While you had something that was more straight-forward, the very bluesy “Power of Arachnid” is a whole other monster of a track when compared to the other 2 songs. This is more a slow grinder, that borrows a bit from the old KYUSS, arguably the greatest stoner rock/metal band to have ever existed. The rhythm guitars tend to and bend a little more on this one by adding some higher notes an even some special effects to add another layer to a very dense sound.

“Onward to Oblivion” sounds like it is completely covered in filth, there is so much fuzz on this one (I do not mean in a negative way, this is what has made ELECTRIC WIZARD icons in the genre to this day). It is almost impossible not to hear some of the almighty Ozzy Osbourne in this, especially in how those last notes are kept on a very specific note with some light echo. It may not be the catchiest, but it has some very impressive solos and a magnificent bridge section as well. If by any chance, you are into the groovy side of doom metal, you will sink our teeth into arguably the ultimate single material on this effort, “Rise”. A catchy chorus, a part literally written to have the crowd chime in and a memorable rhythm guitar part that will be parked in your brain long after the album has finished.

It is a very tricky thing to mix and match hard rock with doom metal and somehow keep both fresh and appealing, but the musicianship here knows how to master both and add some great hooks to all the songs. They can speed things up a little to keep things different from track to track and know how to use a dirty sound to their advantage. Surely great things ahead for this band when concerts start happening again late this year and in 2022.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cleansed with Blood
2. Gather Flame
3. Power of Arachnid
4. Onward to Oblivion
5. Screaming Moon
6. Rise
7. Death in the Unknown
8. We Will Burn
Lineup:
Mike Dudley - Bass
Nick Perrone - Drums
John Steele - Guitars, Keys
Kris Fortin - Vocals
Record Label: Electric Valley Records
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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