Released: 2011, Noisehead Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Thank God, or whatever deity floats your personal boat, for the seductive charms of groove metal. And thank him twice for there still being bands who have proudly remained off the bandwagon - for those who, if you like, are content to carve their own groove.
Yes, yes bands like Pantera have exquisitely interbred groove and thrash for some time, and it’s still practiced by the likes of Lamb Of God, Machine Head and DevilDriver today, but Basanos have taken up this mighty mantle without even breaking a sweat. For a band established in the depths of Vienna, Austria just four years ago, it’s enough to turn your head. Factor in that the band’s second album, the recently released Cracking The Sledge, is head to toe stunning and you might just hear a snap as you spin your neck too fast.
Essentially, if there were a paint-by-numbers for groove metal, Basanos would have nearly all the right colours in their paintbox. From the melancholic tones of its sludge influences, through red-raw roars to the persistent groove of percussion, Cracking The Sledge is a complete canvas. This isn’t just random splodges and poncy titles though, the album has been carefully conceived from start to finish to coax a mosh pit from you.
With lyrics of ‘Raise your fist, shout out loud’ ‘The Challenge’ is a show opener if there ever was one, which perhaps explains its prime position on the album. Or perhaps it’s because its opening hook is enough to hold you in place for the rest of the album. ‘On My Way’ wades into more sludgy stoner grounds, but more than keeps its head above water, whilst the opening of ‘Control’ reminds of Megadeth classic ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ with more stalls.
Title track ‘Cracking The Sledge’ might not put a dent in Pantera’s primal concrete number but it’s a hefty slab in its own right. In fact, such a statement could be applied to the album as a whole. It may seem as though it should make your mp3 player feel like a stone in your pocket, but the way Basanos are going Cracking The Sledge may feel positively feather-light by the time album three rolls around.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs