Released: 2014, Ripple Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Can you believe that Volume IV (surely named after 'that' album) didn't title their album 'Volume I'? Imagine the fun a few more releases down the line. To be honest the choice of LONG IN THE TOOTH doesn't even make so much sense given it's their debut full length, which makes them more baby-toothed really. They'll still give you a nip though.
Pacing from one ear to the other, “Looking Low For A High”'s hard rock/stoner scowl reminds of Corrosion of Conformity, or Black Label Society, without all the Zakk Wylde widdly-showy bits. Even Joe Carpenter's (formerly of Nihilist) voice kinda gets into that groove, whilst the riffs and drums roll together in some sort of dirty fun time.
Actually though follow-up “Utero/Long In The Tooth” with it's quickfire acoustic building into some healthy Sabbathy-riffage is an even better introduction to this Atlanta trio. One that grabs you by the hand with a firm shake. And so it continues. Volume IV take all the good shit from doom/stoner/sludge/hard rock and tie it together with the kind of solo work you see more often in the Big 4 thrash world. It's nice to see a band take a few risks rather than religiously sticking to convention, especially when they manage to pull it off as Volume IV have with LONG IN THE TOOTH.
'Blackwater', truly a standout track, slows things down with a blues/groove that sinks right through you. It takes its time and that's ok, because you could just watch it do its thing for hours. Carpenter's vocals are perfectly cut for this style, flowing loose over the tip-toe swagger of the bass. Then it's back to the Wylde-side, or even Soundgarden, for the croony melancholy of “Save Your Servant”, with Volume IV proving themselves just as capable on mellow ground.
A lot of the tracks end slightly abruptly, so it's over before you've really registered it's over, but it's a minor gripe. Because what you get is good enough without any long finishing flourishes. As on superb closer “Locust Have No King”, which takes a 70s riff and turns it all the way up to today, pushing you along at every step with its neck-punishing continuous beat. Again the band reject any notions of a drawn out goodbye with handkerchiefs. It's done, so it's done. Start again if you want more.
Perhaps that album title was a wise choice. Because if they can keep creating songs of this quality, then Volume IV might be around long enough to even see those teeth fall out. Put them under your pillows boys and just maybe a fairy wearing boots will come collect them. Not sure you'll need it to leave any riffs though, looks like you've enough of your own.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs