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Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof
Released: 2012, Self-released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The problem, or should we say one of, with people not bothering to support their local scene or the touring unsigned bands that try so hard to make even the smallest crowd feel like a stadium audience, is the lost chance to discover a future great, ahead of the game. Sod all your excuses, because I’ve removed pretty much all obstacles to this by bringing a trio that are making a racket in the UK underground scene to your door. (Figuratively of course, I haven’t got the time or money to physically drag them round you all.)
This is XII Boar, a stoner/doom band with dashes of Black Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, and Viking Skull. Founded a mere two years ago, you may think this sounds like a band punching above their weight, but in reality XII Boar are more likely to knock you out with their hefty riffs and don’t-give-a-fuck swag.
Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof is the band’s latest four-track EP, and whilst it’s definitely a bit of rough in the sometimes over-polished music scene, it’s also why they catch the ear. Packed with more grooves than creeps in a clown car, ‘Smokin’ Bones’ doesn’t mess about, and then just when you think it’s over XII Boar storm straight into a head-banger’s fantasy – as though they’re well aware the listener wants just that bit more. Old-school sounding ‘Hellspeed Viper’ continues in a similar vein until the weighty doom influence drops in and shows just how easily XII Boar can conjure magic from either genre.
Although vocalist Tommy Hardrocks sounds like the younger upstart cousin of Viking Skull’s Roddy Stone throughout, it’s on ‘Slam Hound’ that the band really reach into the ‘Skull and have a bit of a wriggle around. There’s a bit more solo flair on show here, but lyrically it certainly feels up the same street. Making the band’s closing statement ‘Triclops’ pushes the previous tracks into lightweight territory with a slowed down tribal drum and riff combo that simply crushes, but in a nice enough way to leave your chest just about intact.
Oh, and before you complain about being skint, you can download Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof for free from the band’s website, so at the very least you probably owe them your attention out of courtesy. Manners don’t cost a penny – and neither does Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof, so get it before someone comes up with the brilliant idea of charging for it.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
1. Smokin’ Bones
2. Hellspeed Viper
3. Slam Hound
Tommy Hardrocks – Guitars/Vocals
Adam Thomas – Bass/Backing vocals
David Wilbraham - Drums
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