The fifth album from Canadian Stoner Rockers SHEAVY continues in their tradition of unabashed and very effective emulation of the mighty BLACK SABBATH. Vocalist Steve Hennessey is a dead-ringer for Ozzy and the riffs, courtesy of Dan Moore, are remarkably Iommian. Rather than coming off as a yet another discount-bin rip-off band, SHEAVY inject enough sheer melody into their already strong song writing to make them really stand out amongst the sea of Nth generation SABBATH-wannabes.
With Billy Anderson at the helm, this thing sounds great, effectively capturing that riff-driven Stoner vibe; having worked with bands such as HIGH ON FIRE, ORANGE GOBLIN, THE MELVINS and SLEEP, this guy knows what he’s doing and it shows. The first four songs on “Republic?” are VERY strong, especially the magnificent “Standing At The Edge Of The World.” Seriously, these songs are good enough to make the album worthwhile, even if things start to taper off after that. The remaining songs always stay above-average, but none of them come close to capturing the greatness of the first four. Nonetheless, this is solid. Reminding most of “Sabotage”-era SABBATH, these songs are heavy, yet not quite slow enough to qualify as Doom. Instead, they keep a pretty mid-tempo to slightly upbeat pace, perfect for thrashing about with the trusty ol’ air guitar. Then again, I’m a dork that air guitars to everything.
In this sad age where the once nearly omnipotent BLACK SABBATH have become a mockery of themselves, it’s nice to see a band like SHEAVY continuing that delightful sound. (Online December 18, 2005)