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Red Fang - Whales and Leeches (Cover Artwork)

Red Fang

Red Fang: Whales and LeechesWhales and Leeches (2013)
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Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
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Portland, OR's Red Fang get by on pure unadulterated rock n' roll badassery. They don't have the clearly defined pop sensibilities of Torche, the experimental streak of Kylesa, or the chameleon-like abilities of Baroness. Since 2009, they've been delivering their own special brand of sludge metal th.
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Portland, OR's Red Fang get by on pure unadulterated rock n' roll badassery. They don't have the clearly defined pop sensibilities of Torche, the experimental streak of Kylesa, or the chameleon-like abilities of Baroness. Since 2009, they've been delivering their own special brand of sludge metal that sounds best when cranked to 11, with smiles on their faces and tongues in their cheeks. Whales & Leeches, their third full-length, offers more of what we've come to expect from the group, and can only be described as a hard-rocking, hard-partying good time.

Although one would be hard-pressed to call Whales & Leeches a radical reinvention of any sort, to their credit, Red Fang do try a few new things this time around. There's a seven-minute Melvins-inspired sludge opus entitled "Dawn Rising," featuring guest vocals courtesy of Mike Scheidt of psych-metal weirdos YOB, placed smack dab in the middle of the record that breaks things up a bit. The song's climax is stopped dead in its tracks by crystal clean electric guitars over distant feedback and far away sound effects, hinting at something sinister that sound like nothing else on the record.

On the other end of the spectrum, first single "Blood and Cream" is the poppiest, most immediately catchy song the band have penned to date, coming across like Clutch on steroids and bubblegum. Were it not for all the bullshit politics involved with rock radio, this song would be all over it. Elsewhere, the band's signature sound remains intact on the aggressive Kyuss meets Crowbar stomper "Crows in Swine" and opener "DOEN," which begins Whales & Leeches with howls of "Winter is your doom!" being particular highlights.

Are Red Fang reinventing any sort of sludge metal wheel on Whales & Leeches? No. Are they virtually indistinguishable from their colleagues in The Sword? Yes. Does any of that matter when they're putting out records that rock this hard? Not at all. If you like loud sludgy riffs, face-melting solos and Ozzy-esque vocal hooks, Red Fang will satisfy your appetite, and probably leave you hungover and sore from headbanging.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
paulsilence (October 31, 2013)

Dude, if you can't distinguish them from The Sword, I think you should listen more closely. While Red Fang is more about the groove, The Sword is definitely more riff-concerned. I find my self nodding along to Red Fang much more consistently than I do while listening to The Sword. Put it another way: since both bands owe so much to Sabbath, I'd say Red Fang: Master of Reality and Sabotage while The Sword: Volume 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

skolarx (October 16, 2013)

these guys blew me away a few years ago when i saw them open for The Bakerton Group (and the next night with the same show except Clutch was headlining) and then i checked out their videos... holy shit. FuckYouOiOiOi is right, best videos ever.

FuckYouOiOiOi (October 16, 2013)

This band has the best music videos I've ever seen!

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