6 September 2014
Conan - Blood Eagle
Oh Conan, you interesting and strange beast! Yes it is that time to look at the latest release from the doom titians from Liverpool way. For the last two years there has been a Conan release which has made my personal top albums of each year. The first was Monnos and last year it was Mouth Wrath: Live At Roadburn 2012, each release has been a solid slab of metal that would level weaker mortals in seconds and destroy pretenders to metal such as the hair product brigade of Kerrang! However, the band now has now unleashed another beast to wander amongst us and destroy the world in its walk like the Nordic legends of old. I have been excited about this release since I heard it was being made, now I get to experience the new monster named after a method of execution/torture from days of old.
This six track album starts off with "Crown Of Talons" and from the off you are surrounded by a heavy combination of amplifier worship, drone, sludge and metal that will have the meek pissing in their collective pants that they might be inheriting that patch of Ipswich that they have always dreamed about owning; only for them to realise it is a musical mountain being unleashed by some lads from Liverpool who have came to destroy all in their sights. The howls of the band do not start till after three minutes have passed, at this point most bands are onto their second or even third numbers; not Conan, they are just warming up! But the song still moves with the speed of a rampaging pack of sloths. This is pure, unadulterated sludge that will have the faithful up in arms of raptor and those new to the band hypnotised. Next is "Total Conquest"; now this track can be compared to the Marvel character Quicksilver in some ways, as for sludge music it is quite fast when it starts off. It is also a distantly dirty riff that has the hairs on my arms standing on edge each time I hear it; I really cannot this of a song by the band that I have loved more than this one. When the song breaks down and reforms, it just has all the hallmarks of a true stand out track. Following on from this onslaught Conan unleash "Foehammer", which does not let the pace slow down one iota. It is much more volatile in delivery and not with a great degree of violence. It is a titan of a number and being the shortest song on the record it feels like it is over slightly too quickly.
"Gravity Chasm" is the fourth song on here and you can hear the Sabbath/amplifier worship in full flow on this song. With a bass line that is hooked into your soul from the moment that you first hear it, the band is probably in the form of their life at this moment. It feels like the sound of this three piece sludge unit has got heavier as the album has progressed and that is not something I thought could be possible. By the time the hypnotic loop has slowed down towards the end of the song I am almost in tears by the noise that is coming from the speakers; it is that good a song. Following on is "Horns For Teeth", now this song has an almost grunge vein in it; I use the word almost in that sentence, don't worry Conan has not started wearing lumberjack shirts and singing about penny-royal-hearts. What you have is a number that is an interesting cross between the normal Conan sound and that of Seattle legends Tad. The bile and hatred dripping out of this number is fantastic to fans of sludge music; it is a great number once again. Ending the album is "Altar Of Grief" which changes the mood straight away, it has a quite beginning that slowly introduces the drums and bass guitar to the listener; rumbling away like the relentless beatings of your enemies at the gates. When the guitar joins the mix, the horde is unleashed and war is declared on the world and humanity at large. For nine minutes, you are pulled back into the void and then spat out without mercy, by or leave.
What can I say about Conan that I have not already said about them on my last two blogs? What difference is there to be gained from this album that is not evident on the other two? Well, compared to the other two albums, this is quite a fast paced record. The speed of the songs is much quicker on this record and it changes the expectations of the album to a certain degree. It also changes the band and makes them slightly different; they have added to their arsenal as they could have probably rehashed 'Monnos' and the world would have cheered. But they have not done that, they have brought another element to their noise and this also increases my respect for the band at this point. I know this will sound like a love letter to a certain degree, but by deity (again, existence is yet to be proven or unproven to me) what a record. Yes, it is not for the mainstream; yes, it is not easy listening - who cares when it sounds this good! Together with Mantar and Sleaford Mods, Conan has added to albums that will define 2014 for me, also they are the first band to score a perfect 10 for each record.
10 out of ten - This is proof there is a god
Top track - Total Conquest
You can purchase the album on Amazon here
You can visit the Conan website
You can purchase the album directly from the band on their website on this link
Here is a link to the band's Bandcamp page; whilst you cannot get the album there you will find some awesome stuff
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Or for our Deezer users, here is a link for you
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