Press play to be the coolest dude at the D&D tourney
Rhode Island sludger-nauts, Howl, are back for a follow up to their 2010 debut, Full of Hell. The Relapse Records group is back at their doomiest with 40 minutes of pure tube sucking guitar girth. Produced by Chris “Zuess” Harris (The Acacia Strain, Hatebreed, Shadows Fall), Bloodlines pushes some serious air. Also present is some of the baddest ass artwork for a metal album ever. Check this out: there’s a three-eyed brunette chick chillin’ in this ocean of blood while bicep curling a baby, wolves swimming around like sharks, a skeleton holding a noose and giant vultures flying around waiting to fuck some shit up. Okay, come on, that’s tight, bro. Anyways, back to the album.
This chugger starts off with “Attrition,” which has some hilarious Jerry Cantrell style wankage and some buttrock palm-riffs. Imagine Mastadon, Crowbar and Alice in Chains having some gutter sex outside a dungeon guarded by big-tittied gladiators with pet fire-breathing pterodactyls. Press start on this CD if you want to be the coolest dude at the D&D tourney. From there, “Midnight Eyes” thuds out some Drop-C basslines on your dome with guitarist/singer Vincent Hausman doing his best Matt Pike impression (minus the goblin teeth and visually apparent odor). So far so good, except for one thing: the lyrics to these songs are pretty awful. On “Demonic,” where Hausman exclaims, “I am the unforgiven crusher of your soul – I am the noose around your neck.” Now, go ahead and try not to “LOL” when hearing that. Come on, now.
Alright, maybe that’s a bit harsh, cause, after all, this album sounds pretty tight so far. After some Crowbar-esque action and more Cantrell Guitar Center non-sense, Bloodlines picks up again with “Your Hell Begins,” which stands out the most for its unrelenting chug patterns, lack of melodic content, and double-bass shitstorming. Basically, it’s like, “GO FUCK YOURSELF,” and you can’t do a damn thing about it but windmill and power-frown till you black out from all the metal.
The album closes with the doomiest song of the lot, “Embrace Your Nerve,” which also doubles as a possible tribute to High On Fire. The similarities are forgiven cause it’s hard to hate on a dude screaming like an acid-spitting troll adorned with spiked battle armor that’s all like, “I AM THE UNFORGIVEN CRUSHER OF YOUR SOUL.” The whole thing is pretty over the top, but that’s what’s tight about this album: it just doesn’t give a fuck. Need we remind you of the artwork again? Nah, didn’t think so. Anyways, if you like imp shrieking, wah-imbued stunt guitar, sludge chugs, and lyrics about demons, Bloodlines just might be up your alley.