Released: 2007, Relapse Records
Hard to believe this is album number six for Alabama Thunderpussy (ATP), but it’s true. These Richmond, Virginia Southern metal warriors have been slogging it out for 11 years now, and just as OPEN FIRE is the band’s third release with Relapse Records, it also welcome vocalist number three, ex-Exhorder throat Kyle Thomas. Don’t know what happened to interim vocalist Johnny Weils, but he’s gone, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Thomas has a great, whiskey-infected growl that perfectly matches the band’s stoner rock.
As for the music? Well, if you liked ATP before, you’ll still like ‘em now. The band’s groove-laden stoner metal hybrid has not been changed in any significant way. Although, as the promo states (correctly for once!), the band’s sound is perhaps more stripped-down and harder edged than in the past. The quieter, more introspective moments are fewer and further between than say, on STARING AT THE DIVINE, but they’re still there. In between, the band rips it up as only they can. Still, one kind of misses the peaks and valleys approach of albums past, whereas here on OPEN FIRE the music kind of flat lines at one loud-assed level throughout, Thomas hollering away. It’s not bad, but there is a tendency to drift off at times.
There’s not much else to say really. ATP is one of the most consistent bands around, all quality, all the time. OPEN FIRE is another great addition to their catalogue and all stoner metal fans can buy it with confidence.