Released: 2011, Churchkey Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Rising from the ashes of short-lived Carolina doom sluggers Tooth comes Hog, an apt name for the band’s fat and dirty brand of Southern doom. Wallowing in melodically sludgtastic doses of Mastodon, C.O.C., and crossover cust, Hog’s debut EP ARCHETYPES is an aural concussion of the best kind. Produced by Kylesa’s Philip Cope, the four tracks on ARCHETYPES blend downtuned fuzzy dirges with galloping metal riffage for a Metallica meets Crowbar collision of blunt force goodness.
The four tunes on ARCHETYPES are all obtusely heavy tracks, with roots in the noisy, post-doom sound of bands like Kylesa, Howl, Black Tusk, etc, but Hog’s got a crazy knack for incorporating melody into such a dense formula. If you were to play some of these tunes at a faster pace, I dare say they’d sound like modern day Entombed or Dismember. Yeah, Swedish death metal played at 33 1/3 speed; that’s the ticket. And it’s freakin’ powerful stuff.
“(On the) Eve of War” is starts out pretty straightforward, thick and trudging, but immediately belying the band’s sense of harmony. The track quickly cranks forward into a rolling crunch, full of dark, doomy six string layers and murky rhythms. “A Word is Born” has the guts of a traditional metal song, but played after downing a fistful of Quaaludes and chased with Mountain Dew. It’s a brilliant combination, everything you love about this brand of doom, merged with Priest inspired guitar licks. “Sightless and Deaf” fuses some spaced out guitar effects to give the tune some added depth, and “The Fourth Facet” encompasses all of these traits into 9-minute closing mammoth of a song. It’s hard to describe all of the different elements incorporated into Hog’s simple formula, but when you hear it, you wonder why other bands are doing the same thing.
ARCHETYPES has the potential to be all things to all people. It’s doom enough to satisfy the beardos, metal enough to get some circle pit action going, and experimental enough to get the wallflowers interested. If any of the bands mentioned in this review tickle your fancy, then consider Hog a band that you’ll want to get more familiar with. ARCHETYPES will be available Mid-May through Churchkey Records. Great stuff…