Howl - Full of Hell
Relapse Records
Sludge Metal
9 songs (43:30)
Release year: 2010
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Jaime
Probably the first thing that really stood out for me with Full of Hell was the almost Death Metal like speed and feel that they had infused into their Southern drenched steel. Hell, it's practially Bluesy Death Metal and it feels like a man who's had too much fried food is using you as a stool when listening to it. It's a bit heavy. And it's not just the songs, the production as a whole is crushing. The weight behind the guitars is massive, the drums sound huge and the vocals are like an elephant stomping on your ear.

From the opening riff of Horns of Steel to the mammoth closing track The Day of Rest Howl have managed to produce a ridiculously catchy record. The aforementioned opener Horns of Steel and the following two tracks You Jackals Beware and Gods in Broken Men thunder past with surprising speed and vigor, as one can hardly call sludge the fastest of genres. Short intrumental track Asherah sets up fifth song Jezebel with some quite 70's style riffs and leads, while Jezebel itself goes into the more standard sludge sound a la Crowbar. It's heavy and grinding but still retains that same energy that the faster tracks before it have. Heavenless's intro is just awesome, with the tribal drums and heavily delayed guitars but the actual song itself doesn't stand out compared to the later tracks. The Scorpion's Last Sting suffers a bit from this as well surprisingly. It is in no way a bad song but just seemed to drag on way too long for my liking. The next track Parish of The Obscene is probably the low point of the album, which is saying something as it's not a bad track, but is undoubtedly weaker than the rest. It sounds a little tired really. Finally we come to the 10 minute closer The Day of Rest. One thing for sure is that it didn't need to be that long and it's pretty repetitive. It's a shame as the opening half of the album was pretty strong and showed off a lot of ideas, but it sounds like they'd used most of them up by this point. The outro is alright though, it's quite spacey sounding and has a great atmosphere to it that was a little lacking in the main bulk of the track.

Full of Hell is overall a good album, despite the latter half being unable to live up to the former there is enough here to make most sludge fans happy and possibly draw new blood into the genre. As said the production and performances are fantastic and should be commended, but hopefully they'll not run out of steam as quickly on their next album.
Killing Songs :
Horns of Steel, You Jackals Beware, Gods in Broken Men, Asherah, Jezebel
Jaime quoted 83 / 100
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:29 pm
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