Sheavy - Republic?
Rise Above
Doom and stoner rock of mid 70s, or call it simply Sabbath worship
11 songs (51'02")
Release year: 2005
Rise Above
Reviewed by Alex

This is just in. Instead of continuing the disgrace tour otherwise known as Ozzfest, Black Sabbath quit the circuit, went into isolation in the studio, detoxified Ozzy so he would sound like his old Prince-of-Darkness self again and wrote a new full-length album. The title is kind of strange, Republic?, with the question mark at the end, and not having the lyrics sheet I can’t quite tell you what the songs are about. The music, however, is sure to mark the return of the mid 70s Sabbath. Groovy, doomy combination of metal and blues, this music gave birth to the whole new genre known as stoner rock. On top of it all, getting out of the grabby clutch of Ms. Osborne who never let a dollar go by, foregoing the millions many labels were willing to pay for this reunion full-length, the band signed to Rise Above Records, the small, but true doom label owned by Cathedral’s Lee Dorian, who knows a thing or two about doom metal and stoner rock. Can this be true?

No, it can’t. Yet here I am holding the album strangely titled Republic? in my hands, I played it many times, it does sound like mid 70s Black Sabbath to a tee … but it isn’t Black Sabbath. Instead, meet Sheavy, the band from Canada, whose Black Sabbath worship is well known and publicized.

Republic? is the third installment in the band’s career that seems to be on and off, due to the band members living far away from each other. What does not change, however, is the attitude, the style and the charter – play mid 70s metal today. Republic?, an even album throughout, combines straight stoner rockers (The Rook, A Phone Booth in the Middle of Nowhere) with some prominent riffs, none of them close to Iron Man, and my personal favorites, more epic, slower and grrroovy numbers. It is epic songs like Hangman, Spy vs Spy and Standing at the Edge of the World, which sounds almost like Paranoid in its faster parts, that completely win my heart. The Hell with the originality comparisons, this music was written specifically to cover the period from Black Sabbath to Vol. 4. Verses propped by steady rhythm section of bassist Keith Foley and drummer Ren Squires, melodious bridges, noodling distorted bluesy leads by Dan Moore and, of course, Steve Hennessey’s crooning. Steve sounds so much like Ozzy of old at times (Spy vs Spy) it is creepy. Sometimes you would think that Ozzy simply got an alias, but then you remember the broken man making a pathetic spectacle of himself on MTV. How sad …

For all those, like me, who think old Sabbath is one of the most influential bands in metal, those who think this style is not boring, and those who don’t care much about the “cover” band label that Sheavy intentionally put onto themselves and the one that will stick with them forever. If you are missing the sound of Paranoid-era classics – this is for you.

Killing Songs :
Hangman, Spy vs Spy,Standing at the Edge of the World
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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