Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stoned to the Throne

Black Hand Throne ~ IV (2014)


Another band from the state of South Carolina is the sludgy Doom Metal sound coming from Black Hand Throne. In the interest of full disclosure, they were supposed to be featured in the "Rising Sons of the South" article I wrote a little while back, but when I was copy and pasting I must of skipped over them by accident. To make up for my oversight, I decided to expand the small blurb to a full blown album review, because their latest effort "IV" is definitely worth one. If you're looking for that sense of despair and pure annihilation in a Stoner Doom album, look no further than "IV", or pretty much any Black Hand Throne album for that matter. Their sound is that of men with doctorates in the ways of Stoner Doom Metal, taking what the pioneers did, building on it, and making it their own. The growling vocals that get bellowed out remind me of Church of Misery at times, with a super heavy instrument groove that rivals the likes of Sleep. The pounding drum rhythms give way to soul crushing guitars, with the bass guitar loading up the low end with sonic destruction. My favorite track on this album would have to be "War of the Ancients", with an atmospheric opening and walking bass line it takes a few moments for it to turn into a plodding funeral march when the crunchy guitar tones come slamming down. The track really hits its stride just after the start of a slightly cleaner vocal performance, going a little more in the direction of Crowbar this time around. The main riff has a little more of that sludgy, Southern vibe than some of the others, but it absolutely slays anything that stands in its path. As the seven minute opus begins to come to an end, the drummer start up with a slamming outro that really ends the track on a good note, with crunchy guitar tones acting as reinforcements. That's just a taste of what this almost seventy five minute album has to offer, you can pick up a digital copy at their bandcamp, which I think is the only available format at the moment, for ten bucks. While that seems a little steep for a download, it's a buck a track, the going rate at places like iTunes and Amazon. But give it a few streams before you decide, and if you're into it, it'll definitely be ten bucks well spent at the end of the day. 
~Skip

 For Fans Of; Sleep, Electric Wizard, Bongzilla