The boys in RAGING SPEEDHORN sure are angry, which you can definitely tell from the opening lines of “Dead Man Walking” – “fuck this fucking rarrrhahrl blah rarrh!” The band channels this anger into ten tracks of dirty Sludge Metal on the latest release, “How The Great Have Fallen.” The riffs are in the vein of the intense SABBATH variety, with hints of Stoner and Southern influence occasionally working their way in, occasionally fast and furious and just as often dropping down to a painful dirge. There are two vocalists at work here, both screaming, growling and puking their way through the songs. One is slightly lower than the other, but other than that, they’re pretty difficult to tell apart.
The absolute highlights of this disc are “Slay The Coward” and “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down,” two delightfully slow and Sludgy anthems of attitude and anxiety. Of course, I use the term “delightfully” loosely, as there is nothing even remotely resembling delight here – this is Sludge of the brutal, misanthropic variety. The faster tracks are average-to-good, sometimes running together but with standout parts (such as the killer riff in the middle of “Fuck You! Pay Me!”), but it’s when they slow down that RAGING SPEEDHORN really starts to shine.
After the final standard track, we’re treated to a hidden track and two bonus songs. The hidden track is hilarious – a phone conversation between a band member of a man inquiring about an ad in the paper about performing on the album and the resulting conversation leads to some interesting dialogue, including a free-style rap about being “down with the muthafucking devil.” After that little surprise, we get a cover of KISS’ “God Of Thunder” and THE KINKS’ “Hatred.” Both tracks are pretty cool, with “God Of Thunder” being the stronger of the two – KISS tunes sound great played Sludge-style!
Fans of heavy, dirty, pissed-off Metal in the vein of IRON MONKEY, EYEHATEGOD and SOILENT GREEN should pick this one up, as should anyone looking for some quality Sludge. The pukey vocals, caustic lyrics and noise factor might turn off some casual listeners, but if you’re into those, RAGING SPEEDHORN might just be your cup o’ bile. (Online September 7, 2005)