Buzzherd ‘On Sinking Ships…Rats Drown’ CD/DD 2013

Buzzherd 'On Sinking Ships…Rats Drown'It always amazes me the effort bands will go to when they’re trying to get you to hear their records. I mean most of the time, the music speaks for itself, but how do they make sure they don’t fall into the eternal graveyard of the ‘To Review’ section (whatever that may be)? Some bands have cool art, some throw around bizarre references to bands they like. Some have funny press kits. Some, like Buzzherd, have all three.

As such, Buzzherd’s EPK is the funniest out there at the minute. Expect, over the five tunes that make up this collection, these ‘gods of thunder’ to lay drums on you that have the ‘the intensity of one thousand suns and one thousand Gorilla amps all set to 10 right next to your pathetic little ear.’ Held within this lexical whoring-out are fantasies about Dale Crover (who hasn’t had those?!), Dio-mashing and Krishna. Cool!

Abuse Of Despair’ is a bucket-o-guts grindathon, thunderous vocals urge along a crunchy metal sludge stew. The guitars are mixed into the fetid brew, joining the bass at the bottom end while cymbals crash all over the shop. The heft of Buzzherd’s sound is quite something, skirting the heaviest edges of stoner metal and doom, touching base with some of the blackened moods conjured by Skeletonwitch, but maintaining a sludgy groove sensibility traceable straight to the School of Advanced Iommic Research.

Indrid Cold’ turns the thermostat down a couple of notches – chilly guitar leads follow chunky riffs into geriatric-slow doomscapes that hum and hover over a crushing rhythm. It’s the kind of tune I can imagine red-eyed legions of doom fans banging their weary heads to while they’re deciding what to eat. Indrid Cold, from what I’ve ‘discovered’ is a creepy character from a Richard Gere film. Great. That’ll explain the sub-zero mood of the tune, then.

Don’t you just love it when bands try to creep you out before they batter you with the nastiest sludge they got? ‘The Maloik’ (a Maloik, as any Dio fan will tell ya, is one of these – \m/ ) is the foulest tune of the bunch, pounding like early Mastodon (when they were good), and gradually decreasing the speed of the shredding to Doom (capital D) levels… is that Tom Hanks reading a Bukowski poem at the end of this track? What is that?! Answers on a postcard. However, if you can easily decipher the garbled lyrics of records like this – I’m not great – you will be able to tell that the next tune is called ‘Stakes And Snares,’ because they are the first words . It’s (surprise) another plodding elephantine blast of riff upon riff. ‘Stakes…’ is the shortest cut of the lot, coming in around four and a half minutes, but it packs a train-rolling-over-you bluster behind a guitar solo Bill Steer would have been proud of in 1993.

Gigas’ – what could it mean, Sherlock? The plural form of giga? Wikipedia tells me it could be something to do with video games? What are this band fucking doing to me? A down an’ dirty bass groove comes lolloping out of the speakers, Amebix-style, slathered on top of a crusty punk figure from the drummer (the snap of said pot-basher’s snare might be borrowed from said band, too, come to think of it)… but that all ends after ten or so seconds when the sludge-metal-crushathon resumes. The guitars from 1:45 go all Dopesmoker on you, a THC-fuelled drone of immense proportions until a brief minute and a half later, when the track picks up a speed metal shred rhythm and rides out into a metal sunset. Bejesus!

Buzzherd have badass art, a cool vibe and enough weighty riffs to fill a 12 track album, but by cutting the track count they make a short, sharp, grisly statement that promises more heaviness to come. Doom on!

Label: Dullest Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Ross Horton