Thursday 15 February 2018

Heave Blood & Die - Vol II (Album Review)

Release date: 19th January 2018. Label: Blues For The Red Sun. Format: CD/DD

Vol II – Tracklisting

Wealth is Nothing
Sinking Ships


BASS/VOCAL- Karl Pedersen
GUITAR/VOCAL - Mads Ystmark
GIUTAR- Jonas Helgesen Kuivalainen
SYNTH - Marie Sofie Langeland Mikkelsen
DRUMS - Kenneth Mortensen


Heave Blood & Die's new album - II - is an intriguing album indeed. Blending Psychedelic Doom and Stoner Metal with the band drawing influence from Post-Punk and Post-Rock. The first half of the album sees the band open with Plague a heavy psychedelic doom/stoner offering with traces of distorted post-punk sounds. The riffs are firmly within the heavy psychedelic world. What makes this song and perhaps the album standout is their highly inventive use of synths.

Second track - Harikari - opens with a slow-paced sludgy post-rock groove. The vocals have a punk style vibe around them before the band move onto more progressive doom/stoner metal sounds. The song may sound and feel simple but listen more closely and you can hear a complex sounding song with many different elements to it. The synths add a trippy psychedelic level of weirdness with the riffs keeping the whole thing together.

Third track - Warsaw - is a dirge ridden sludgier effort with the band losing some of the psychedelic gloss they created on the opening two songs. It's quite depressing in parts with the lyrics containing post-doom and gloom bleak themes. The song does try to match the upbeat psychedelic madness of the earDier songs but fails to do so. That's a good thing as this song shows a different side to the bad. Sludgy Punk/Doom Guitars matched against a more aggressive Post-Rock/Stoner Metal attitude.

The first part of the album ends with the next two songs on the album LXXX and Counter Cult. Both of these tracks offer genuine exciting moments of post-doom/stoner metal weirdness with Counter Cult being one of the standout songs on the album. As it has a more frantic Doom/Stoner Metal atmosphere that truly allows the band to fully explore their musical identity.

The second half of the album contains four songs - Wealth Is Nothing, Brigade, Sinking Ships, and Krokodil carry on the heavy psychedelic experimental feel of the album but with the focus being more on Psychedelic Stoner Metal. The vocals contain the usual raucous punk-rock/sludge style and it works superbly well.

It's perhaps not as strong as the frantic first half but I did enjoy the musical experimentation more here. As the band play a more expansive Post-Metal/Doom/Stoner Metal sound. The riffs are a mixture of angry fast-paced moments and slow-paced sludgy sounds. The standout track on this half has to be Brigade. The intelligent drumming of Kenneth allows the music to be played more freely.

Elements of Mastodon can be heard here especially when the band opt for a more progressive metal sound. You have to applaud for Heave Blood & Die for doing something different and almost pulling it off.

The album can be quite confusing and maybe messy in places but it's still an emotionally charged and hugely entertaining album that offers something different within the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal world.

Words by Steve Howe