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Keelhaul: Subject To Change Without NoticeSubject To Change Without Notice (2003)
Hydra Head Records
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Contributed by: FortyMinutesWestFortyMinutesWest
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Whenever I read a band’s press release and notice that they’re on Hydrahead my interest is immediately piqued. This label has consistently put out music that might not be guaranteed to sell, but music that they believe in, and you have to admire that. Keelhaul’s latest album is just another quality release in a growing catalog.
This album is aptly titled “Subject To Change Without Notice,” as Keelhaul is prone to unexpected tempo and stylistic shifts. Everyone in the band is extremely skilled wit their instruments and they’re not afraid to show it off. The guitars bounce back and forth between being sludgy and some more intricate riffing and the drumming is some of the most frantic and complex this side of Mastodon. The vocals are secondary to the rest of the music, and it’s not out of the ordinary to have very long instrumental pieces, but this doesn’t bother me in the least. Keelhaul isn’t afraid to take a break from the chaos either, offering up “The Tits of War” with its classic rock riffage. This is one of those bands that aren’t easy to classify, call them math metal if you wish, but they don’t easily squeeze into any genre. I’d say they’re somewhat comparable to Knut, but overall, I enjoy this band more.
Complex, chaotic, heavy, and never dull, if this album isn’t on your “need to get” list, then throw your list away and write a new one. I was surprised to see this album absent from so many top ten lists, but then again, I too forgot to mention it in mine. This album is a slap in the face to all of the bands that have been putting out formulaic, predictable music that’s devoid of passion and vision. Fans of other heavy, yet progressive bands like Mastodon should look into this.
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