I love drone and metal, love it, love it, love it. So when I first found Conan at the end of last year with my review of Monnos (cleverly linked here), it was fantastic discovery as you will see as I wax lyrical about their stunning performance on that record. It was review just after I had make my chart for 2012, but it was such a stunning release, I was tempted to re-write it again as it was an amazing piece of work. So I was very happy to find out about this release. It is a live recording of their set at the 2012 Roadburn festival. For those of you who do not know, this is an annual festival which takes place in Tilburg in the Netherlands. It is famous the world over for its metal performances, especially for getting stoner and black metal bands together. It has had some fantastic names play (Neurosis, St. Vitus, and Swans to name a few) and it started in 1995, so it is steeped in history. To say I am excited by the prospect of this album is an understatement.
From the opening tones of "Krull", I know that all is going to be well in the world - when I say well, I mean it’s going to be dark, claustrophobic and to put a fine point on it, fucking heavy! Of the six tracks on off here there is not one weak link. On live records their sometimes tends to be a track which does not add up, does not make the mark - but I am extremely glad to say that that is not the case here. From the beginning of the album, "Krull" with its 12 minutes of destruction, followed by the blistering "Satsumo" and "Hawk As A Weapon" you just feel absorbed and lost in the sound of a band on fire. Standing like a crowning glory in this sea of diamonds is the quite frankly awesome "Battle In A Swamp" and then you have another piece of sludge nirvana with the monumental "Headless Hunter". Ending the album with "Sea Lord" and this album ends just with one of the best pieces of drone and metal that I have heard it a long time.
I can honestly say that there is not a weak part to this album, there is not a link, note or moment where I was not hypnotised and stunned by this album - and it was a freaking live recording! I find live recordings to be a tricky beast at times, this is one of the best I have heard and when we do our next version of the live album blog, this will be my pick (probably ignored by the rest of the team, but what would they know). I know that at present the band are working on demos and I cannot wait to hear them, if they sound as destructive and gigantic as this it will be a contender for album of the year.
10 out of ten - This is proof there is a God
You can purchase the MP3 version of the album here
You can visit the Conan online store here and purchase many wonderful items
You can visit the band's website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Here is a video of "Hawk As A Weapon" from Roadburn 2012