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Heavy Lord - Balls to All (4,5/10) - Netherlands - 2011

Genre: Stoner Doom / Sludge Metal
Label: Solitude Productions
Playing time: 45:53
Band homepage: Heavy Lord

Tracklist:

  1. Back When the Giants Ruled the Earth
  2. Balls to All
  3. Kick Teeth
  4. Fear the Beard
  5. Dieselweed
  6. Mare Tranquillatis
  7. Drown
Heavy Lord - Balls to All

The third full-length album of HEAVY LORD presents the smoky styling of “Balls to All,” or as I would to call it: the Stoner ramblings. With a name like HEAVY LORD, I had really hoped for an earful of chugging riffs and thunderous beats to rattle my bones. “Balls to All” never take heavy to the point of lordship.

The general tone of not only the instruments, but the music itself, is burnt out and should have been left to smolder in the ashes. For Doom Metal they fail to draw out and build up immense tension; for Stoner Metal, they may have taken the enjoyment out of smoking pot. On the verge of comatose, the composition cannot even be described as a Stoner jam session due to its outwardly rehearsed impression. 

The album duration is just under an hour, but the worst of the songs are drudged out for a monotonous seven to 10 minutes, and the song fragments that simply suck are dragged on for far too long and the most interesting aspects are chopped too damn short.

The album begins with an instrumental track that is best described as pretty, and then leads into the dehydrated Sludge of the second track, “Balls to All,” which lacks the consistency needed to truly slime your mind. Then the vocals come in – a trait that never fails to sabotage any and all potential this album had of being halfway decent. The vocals in “Balls to All” are nasally and unrefined; both the clean and growling/screaming vocals are just not up to snuff with this brand of Stoner/Doom Metal. Is he fucking meowing in “Dieselweed?”

Lacking creativity, the drums play it safe, never pushing beyond the confines of what is taught in high school music class, and at times rely a bit too much on the cymbals when harder hits are needed. The bass and guitar have more variety, but also never push their ability. Perhaps they all need to lay off the pot long enough for their hearing to come back and brain cells to regroup?

All in all, this album was a great disappointment. I hope that HEAVY LORD’s previous albums were from a pre-burnt out state. The only tracks that I actually enjoyed at all were: “Back When the Giants Ruled the Earth,” probably for the lack of vocals, and “Drown,” of course excluding the vocals.

(Online September 24, 2011)

Montana Pessin



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