LABEL: NAPALM RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: 29 JANUARY 2016
Traditionally stoner and doom metal albums are paced and slow, but Conan’s latest record Revengeance comes out the gates with a ferocity that will make most thrash bands feel inadequate (fret not thrashers, it’s not your speed, it’s how you use it). The UK three-piece make a huge amount of noise that appeals across the Melvins-influenced spectrum of doom, stoner, and sludge metal.
Opener ‘Throne Of Fire’ comes out of your speakers like a stampede of wildebeest running on hot coals. These dark and ludicrously heavy riffs are an onslaught until the band offer shreds of light when they pick up the pace, as heard on the excellent title track or the more energetic guitar hooks of ‘Every Man Is An Enemy’. The album in it’s entirety creates a process that feels very Sleep-esque, but Sleep if Matt Pike was left in a cave with nothing but a guitar, an amp, and a lifetime of bottled-up anger. The deranged dual vocals keep the record from being just an assault of heaviness – separately the higher vocals are vicious squawks, and the lows sound like a voice from an acid nightmare. As a terrifying combination, they’re like a demonic villain melting into a thick ooze.
Conan’s third record doesn’t deviate from the first two too much, however Revengeance is the album that hits its mark most accurately. That’s due to the production, which makes the wall of sludge slightly more engaging, as the predominant low end really helps it hit that spot in your gut just that bit more. It’s not far from 2014’s Blood Eagle, but then again Conan could grow to be a band who never switches it up much; if every release is just a killer slab of doom like this one then they don’t need to… Their sound is already original and fleshed out enough to dent the underground world of stoner metal, and please their following of barbarians.