Saturday 22 August 2015

Limb - Terminal (Album Review)

Release date: September 11th 2015. Label: New Heavy Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Terminal: Tracklisting

Three Snake Leaves
Ghost Dance
Dawn Raiders
Spoils of a Portrait King
Down By The Banks
Mortuary Teeth

Band Members:

Rob Hoey - Vocals,
Sam Cooper - Bass,
Tom Mowforth - Drums,
Pat Pask - Guitar


I've been a big fan of Limb since I heard them properly on the Witch Hunter Records split they put out with Gurt "Split Roast" a year or so back (go grab one here and picked up a copy of their debut album when I had the chance to a gig with them down in Sunny Bournemouth last year. Now they're back with "Terminal" their second full length and let me tell you now, they've delivered a beast.

Kicking off with the brief opener "Three Snake Leaves" Limb are wasting no time at all in setting out their stall for what's to come. Vocalist Rob Hoey bellowing "We leave this world with nothing" over a deliciously repetitive riff that grabs your attention and gets you ready for the rest of the album.

You may have heard 2nd track "Ghost Dance" as it was streamed by Terrorizer a couple of months ago and it was a treat to hear it again. Giant riffs from Pat Pask and Sam Cooper bounce all over this track like Tigger after a six pack of Red Bull (other energy drinks are available) and manage to not only be seriously heavy but to have a real groove to them, something a lot of sludge bands (or bands who get labelled as sludge) often don't do. Some of this will no doubt be in part to new drummer Tom Mowforth who stamps his authority all over this record.

"Micromegas" shows another side to Limb as half way through the track they take their feet of the gas as some lovely clean hypnotic guitar and dense drum fills take over just before ushering in the riff heavy conclusion which features some ace vocals from all the boys, who sound like they're having a lot of fun with this record!

The three tracks that follow the excellent "Dawn Raiders","Spoils Of A Portrait King" and "Down By The Banks" all race by too quickly for my liking and all featuring the same heavy but heartfelt riffs, thunderous drumming and what for my money's worth Rob's best vocals on a Limb record as yet.

But it's the last three tracks that I find push the album from the realms of good into great. "Sleepwalkers" is three minutes of head nodding toe tapping brilliance all held together with a chorus that's catchier than syphilis that will get stuck in your head for days (which is better than where actual syphilis would get stuck.)

The penultimate track "Mortuary Teeth" is without a doubt the heaviest track on the record and it's and absolute fucking rager. A very different higher pitched harsh vocal and some almost discordant hardcore inspired riffs take the lead on this. This track is going to be responsible for a lot of sore necks all over the UK!

Album closer "Cocytus" is again something a little different and shows how far Limb have come since their last release. It's an absolute monster of a song which twists and turns and evolves over it's nearly nine minute running time. It also features the amazing lyric "and then you go and do something stupid/like sharpen your teeth on an axe".

Starting off on quite an aggressive tangent the song leaps around around, until just after two minutes when the pace slows and the almost mantra like vocals take hold. "Hope. Hope without fear". At four minutes another change, a solid chugging riff and simple drum beat propel the track along to it's natural conclusion with samples and effects over the dying seconds as the track fades to nothing and the album is over.

Apparently second albums are difficult. Seemingly not the case here. A bold, confident and mature record, and one that ticks all the right boxes for me. If this is anything to go on then Limb are certainly far from terminal.

Recorded by Russ Russell and Mixed by Jim Mortimer "Terminal" is due for release though New Heavy Sounds on the 11th of September.

Get yourself to the album launch here

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Terminal will be available to buy from New Heavy Sounds from Sept 11th 2015.