Thursday, 2 April 2015

Deep Sea Thunder Beast - 'So Goes The Madness' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 03/10/2014
Label: Self Released

‘So Goes The Madness’ DD track listing:

1). Doomsday Rituals
2). Humanoid Beings Exhibiting Mindless Rage-Like Behaviour
3). Here There Be Dragons
4). Omen Eyes
5). Deaf Dealer
6). Famine Weather
7). Silence of Sirens

Deep Sea Monster Beast is

Justin Cota
Justin Voorhees
Trevor Stutzman 


Riffs, riffs everywhere.  Riffs that crawl out of blackened, lurid depths, riffs that claw at your ankles like a lunatic at his prison wall; riffs that were raised by wolves and know not a sophisticated human language, only the howling savagery of their adopted parents.
It’s very rare that a band comes along and blows everything out of the water, a band that makes you stop in your tracks, curse with a bewitched smile and want to tell absolutely everyone you know that this is the one incredible album. That however, is just how much Deep Sea Thunder Beast’s second release in two years compels me. It’s an album that stares at pigeonholes and laughs at them; it strives to make reference to a plethora of them without actually fitting into a single one.  

It races or trudges through almost every tempo in the book – from the slow pounding of ‘Doomsday Ritual’s’ early passages to the thunderous thrash of ‘Omen Eyes.’ It spits out riffs, like a child tasting bad medicine, in movements that are almost involuntary spasms, they just can’t help but break out into a frenzy of fretwork and hammering drums. So often these riffs come, not only when you least expect it, but when they really shouldn’t – but that’s what makes this album work so well.

The appropriately titled ‘Here Be Dragons,’ which begins with a phaser-coated riff before stomping to a mid-tempo assault, is a track which will delight fans of Mastodon, The Sword and Melvins. It bleeds groove and fury, it jolts your neck every which way and, in all, underlines the band’s superb ability to smash through genre walls, steal a handful of jewels and piss off through the next.

‘Deaf Dealer’ builds on rapid fire snare drums, exploding into an impassioned vocal performance from Justin Cota which, at times, sounds like a more aggressive and boisterous Thin Lizzy. It’s a rock n’ roll song in short, and a fine one at that, Ace of Spades era Motörhead even pokes through the mix at times. But what makes the song what it is, is the multi-dimensional feel to it all. Like I said, this is a rock n’ roll song in principle, but in reality it is so much more – it manages to broaden its appeal into the forays of stoner and punk too. Then, before you’ve had a chance to take in the first half of the track’s fast, skull battering dysphoria, it regurgitates a rapturous doom metal bile. Think Goya punching Electric Wizard in the face.

The three piece, who call San Diego their home town and are at this point far more unknown than they should be, keep you rapt from start to finish. Indeed, moments of more lulling quiet, such as the bass led beginnings of ‘Famine Weather’ let a breeze float through the record, breaking up what has been up to this point an altogether punch-drunk affair.

I like an album that keeps you on your toes and ‘So Goes The Madness’ does exactly that. From the vocals which can float, soar and growl like a pissed off grizzly bear, to the incessant but ever fluctuating riffs and moods laid out across this musical journey, it never repeats itself. But at the same time it bears a powerful and faultless continuity; these changes never deviate from the band’s recognisable sound, rather, it emphasises just how broad a spectrum that sound encompasses.

This is a truly fantastic record; let’s raise this band to the heights their music so richly deserve.

Words: Phil Weller  

‘So Goes The Madness’ is available on DD here

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