“Caveman Battle Doom”
If you’re already sold on Conan’s description of the music they play, as noted above, then you don’t need to read any further. Need more incentive? The name of the trio from the UK’s debut EP is called HORSEBACK BATTLE HAMMER. If that’s not the most badass record title for a band playing heavy music, I don’t know what is. Something that should also be noted is how fantastic the cover art for this album is, the image on the cover suits this band perfectly. All of these elements create a certain level of excitement for a metal fan…and I haven’t even discussed the music yet.
When you put on the record, the first track Krull opens with low-volume feedback for all of ten seconds before slamming the listener with an unbelievably heavy wall of sound. The band’s guitar and bass are criminally down-tuned. Along with Conan’s instruments being tuned so low, they also invoke long, droning, pedal delayed, feedback-heavy riffs that will shake the foundation of your house. The slow tempo of the opening track does not evolve a whole lot throughout its nine minute length. But is varies just enough, along with its mind blowing heaviness and oddly catchy quality, that it keeps the listener very involved throughout the duration of the song. The final forty-five seconds of the track does provide a fun mid-tempo section to close out the opener.
The third song on the record, “Dying Giant”, contains the slowest and most repetitious and droning riffs on the album. Much like the previous two tracks, it’s heavy as fucking hell, but it also contains an unreal mid-tempo riff just under halfway through the song. I could listen to this riff over and over and over again; it involuntarily induces head-bobbing. The latter part of this mid-tempo riff (approximately 3:38 into the song) is so thick and heavy that it sounds like the song is literally about to implode in on itself. It’s almost indescribable. The droning riffs soon resume, but the song ends with another ball crushing mid-tempo riff.
The vocals on this record accompany the music seamlessly. They’re almost catchy in a way. For the most part Conan uses ‘clean’ vocals or guttural shouting. The clean vocal comment could rub the reader the wrong way, but you’d almost have to hear it for yourself. The vocals work exceptionally well with these songs.
If you’re a fan of slower tempo metal/doom/stoner metal/sludge, listening to Horseback Battle Hammer is an absolute must. We have an exciting new metal band on our hands here with a remarkably accomplished debut record. Horseback Battle Hammer has been in constant rotation for the last five months or so. Simply put, it is the heaviest album I have ever heard. Further to that, it’s my favorite record of the year.
Conan - Horseback Battle Hammer
“Caveman Battle Doom”