‘Get yer ears round this’ barked he who must be obeyed down the skype tube, gesturing to a press release advertising something called Cerberon. ‘They apparently sound like a cross between Machine Head and Pitchifter!’ he said, cackling, before our transcontinental link broke down and left me hanging in the ether…
I can’t say I was enthused – anyone threatening a synthesis of Machine Head and Pitchshifter should probably be precluded, by law, from entering recording studios anywhere; minutes later, an MP3 collection of the tracks from the band’s self-titled EP was nestling in my inbox. Girding my loins, I set about listening.
Thankfully, the editor man was pulling my plonker. Opening track Stroggified has a nice, almost glammed-up groove to it, which juxtaposes nicely with the deathly, punked-out vocals of Conor O’Donnell. It’s like listening to Amebix jamming with Zodiac Mindwarp – these guys have a genuine point of difference to their sound, and I wanna hear more.
Operation Eisenfaust continues with the doomy punk feel, throwing in a bit of prime era Killing Joke just to make sure you get the point, and third track Monster hammers away in a similar vein, simple yet effective riffage underpinned by a fierce-sounding bass from Blair MacDonald and pounding semi-tribal drumming from Charlie Rees. Over the top, lead player Chris Hagen adds flashes and flourishes, but to these ears at least the band doesn’t need over much in the flash department – solid bludgeon is what they do best.
Fourth track Blood on the Mountain is the most ordinary, straight up metal track here, and to be honest it doesn’t operate at the same exalted levels as the other three – but that’s just my punk-biased opinion…
A nice surprise then, and it’s definitely worth checking these guys out if you get the chance.
Cerberon is out tomorrow (December 7th).