“...And Be Afraid!”
Red Sun – Ragnarok
Red Sun came to the attention of Nihilist a few short weeks ago when guitarist, Zach Germaniuk, gave us an “Album That Changed My Life” submission, writing lovingly about Baroness' 'Red Album'. Since then I have been keeping an envious eye on the Ohio heavy scene. This new track displays Zach's capacity for an array of interesting ideas, be they melodic or clever use of fx, and on this track, the latter is also evident in bassist, Roger Vincent's playing. They have upped the gear on the aggression compared to what I have heard before, keeping the bass high in the mix and gritty sounding to boot. Drummer, Joe Rosenblum, maintains a shifty, disjointed feel all the way through, lending a fitting uneasy atmosphere to the track. My only qualm is that I don't think the production is all it could be, but then perhaps that is what the self-imposed 'dumpster-rock' label is all about.
Mockingbird – Hard Tellin'/Not Knowin'
I can't help but think when I listen to Mockingbird, that they are somehow Mastodon's 'road not taken'. The influence is certainly there to be heard in the unforgiving post-sludgery: I picture a Mastodon that didn't go the proggy route they have and stuck to their guns, except it's Mockingbird that fill this picture. This new track tells us that the band are taking things in an even heavier direction than that which we have enjoyed so far with their previous Innervenus Records release. This new one is every bit as tight and intelligently crafted, with an excellent memorable simplicity about it, making it a good choice for a single track to represent you on a record. It's difficult to imagine a heavier sound than the pairing of Andy Strickland's guitar with Mike Gilpatrick's bass, it really is something to behold! Get out your most expensive headphones for this one!
If there's one bad thing about this release, it's that there isn't more of it! Solid work from both bands right here and I'm glad I became aware of them in time to see the release.
Red Sun/Mockingbird Split 7”, Innervenus Records, 2011.
For fans of: Early Mastodon, Neurosis, Baroness.
By Edward Gerard Brophy
For Born Again Nihilist and Grip of Delusion, 2011.