Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Album Review; Conan - Blood Eagle
1. Crown Of Talons
2. Total Conquest
4. Gravity Chasm
5. Horns For Teeth
6. Altar Of Grief
So, Conan are a Doom Metal band that have been going since 2007 and 'Blood Eagle' is their third full-length studio album. It also marks the first album released by the three-piece on Napalm Records. Doom Metal, as it stands, is a genre that is fast producing more and more bands into the limelight of the Metal world at this point in time. Often, these are bands that have an occult edge to them. Conan, on the other hand are all Vikings, Tolkien and raw production values.
What Conan prove to be, right from the start of 'Crown Of Talons', is boring! The opening song is nearly ten minutes long and has the slowest, simplest and most irritating riff I've heard in a while (Actually, I'm not sure if I've ever heard an irritating riff!) and has what I can only describe as bad shouting throughout. This then moves into the equally stale and unmoving 'Total Conquest', where Conan manage to show again that their idea of riffing is to simply have both guitar and bass droning over one another, producing a muddy mess that makes Venom's 'Black Metal' album sound like a master class in studio production and mixing.
If 'Total Conquest' was muddy, then the introductory moments of 'Foehammer' are filthy. I do not mean that in the retro-sounding Florida Death Metal scene way. I mean simply that it falls on the ear like a stupefying aural fuzz. The vocals maybe cut through a little bit more, but as positives go, that's like a five pence piece that's found in a bucket of broken glass; it's not worth your trouble enduring such unpleasantness for such a small reward.
Each song is too long, especially when they all lack any sense of dynamics. There is absolutely no personality to this music. The riffs remain infuriatingly simplistic. The drums are never interesting and the purpose of the bass seems to be just to suffocate the guitars and vocals under a horrible tone. People talk about bands playing it safe with their music, but on 'Blood Eagle' Conan are taking it way too far! 'Gravity Chasm' ironically makes you want a black hole to swallow you up. Then 'Horns For Teeth' comes along, sounding like the worst Alice In Chains song you've ever heard covered by Crowbar while drunk.
After a ridiculous minute and a half of droning, empty nonsense, the remaining seven and a half minutes of 'Altars Of Grief' do nothing to redeem this perplexingly poor album. The tone never changed even once on the whole record, and nothing stood out apart from the drums, which wasn't because they were exceptional, but instead it's because they were the only thing that weren't covered in that bloody bass tone! If anyone reading this manages to become a fan of Conan and the 'Blood Eagle' album, and then wonders if they could make it onto my top fifty albums of 2014 come December, I'd say not to hold your breath. This is the kind of album I wouldn't inflict upon anybody, in fact I can only recommend this record to the tone deaf and the masochistic. Don't waste your time and move on swiftly.