Hog – Archetypes EP …   Leave a comment

Hog is a new project put together after the sudden demise of North Carolina’s Tooth. This band has most of that band in its ranks but with the addition of Alec Ferrell as a second guitarist to beef up the sound even more. The rest of the band is made up of Rich James (guitar), Ryland Fishel (bass, and lead vocals), and Noah Kessler (drums). If you are familiar with the sound of Tooth you will kind of know what to expect here and you have to wonder why Tooth was disbanded when Hog is just an expanded version of the same band and sound. The only real difference here is Hog sound more ugly, more up-tempo overall and there is a lot more urgency in the songs. Do not fear though, this is certainly some ugly, crusty southern-fried sludge that still finds the time for infectious grooves.

The four tracks on here are rooted in a Kylesa, Black Tusk kind of doom/sludge/post-rock kind of sound and it is all intensely heavy. While the music is thick and dense, they have an incredibly ability to keep the songs catchy somehow. That is quite the achievement when some of this sounds like early Entombed but played in slow-motion. ‘(On the) Eve of War’ starts this EP off in pretty straight-forward fashion before allowing the second guitar to bring in some extra metallic murky riffing and intensity. The song becomes extremely bludgeoning but in (and dare I say it) a Judas Priest on magic mushrooms kind of way. The riffing is sick, crusty, and filthy but at the same time steeped in old-school metal goodness. There is a good blend of simple and complex guitar runs along with killer moments where the guitarists play off each other. As the song progresses, it slowly gets lost in a slightly psychedelic haze while unleashing thrashing riffage and it builds to a wonderfully trippy climax. All in all, a great opening track.

‘A Word Is Born’ continues the EP in a similar vein but they are far more traditional on this track. The Sabbathian quality in the riffing and in the song-structure is clear throughout but there is still a slightly twisted sludge groove to it all. The way the chord progressions hark back to the days of classic metal makes this infectious but they still have the power to crush and I hate the term ‘crossover’ these days but Hog might just be one of the very best ‘crossover’ bands in existence. The band explores a myriad of diverse elements within these songs so it never gets tedious. ‘Sightless and Deaf’ is another great track, this tune is like trying to crawl through mud while on quaaludes at first. Its intro section is total musical slime but it soon transforms itself with three very different changes in direction. Sickening, crusty doom begins the track, some sludge-infested boogie in the middle section before rounding out the tune with an energetic thrash and bash section.

The EP’s final track is the epic ‘The Fourth Facet’ where the band throw more ideas into the mix than the other songs over the course of nine gruelling minutes. Basically all the elements you hear in the earlier songs are all in this one track so no need to go over it all again but to sum it up just in case you wasn’t paying attention – Sabbathian monster doom riffs, murky sludgy rhythms, old-school death metal elements, spacey dirges, bellowing vocals, and irresistible melodies and its all in the one track. The one thing I haven’t talk about much here is the vocals and its for a reason, I find them pretty forgettable – not bad, just not a crucial part of the sound and to be honest, most of the time I am not even aware they are there as everything else is so powerful. Hmmmm, lets see – C.O.C, Mastodon, Kylesa, Entombed, Dismember, Black Tusk, Slayer, High On Fire, Judas Priest, Metallica, Neurosis, and Black Sabbath. That is a very diverse mix of styles right there but you can hear a bit of all them in Hog’s music, check them out…….8.5/10
Find more info click here – Church Key Records

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Posted May 13, 2011 by doommantia in Hog

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