Label: Holy Roar Release date: 25/11/10 Link: Myspace If someone was to complain that riffs, guitar solos and general good old fashioned heavy guitar music is on a serious downturn I'd feel a strong compulsion agree with them. Hang The Bastard, Holy Roar's latest conduit for remedying this situation, aren't exactly old skool but they are very happy to forsake any modern gimmicks or poppier sensibilities that help plenty of shit metal bands sell so many records in favour of straight forward, bone crunching heaviness. After the brief, atmospheric intro of 'Acid Bath Vampire', the album proper kicks off with 'The Blackest Eyes', a chugging riff heavy behemoth in the hardcore tradition, all throaty vocals that sound like they've been recorded by a mic in the corner of a room whilst the vocalist tears down his surroundings in primal fashion. The following tracks don't deviate too much from that template; yet, perhaps Hang The Bastard strongest draw is their happy ability to cross over and through the various metal sub genres, which marks them out as peculiarly accessible (to fans of some kind of metal at least). Be it the stoner rock-esque 'Goodbye Piccadilly', the more Mastodon/blues riff-based 'The Blackest Eyes' or the straight up tremolo picked hardcore of '1888', Hang The Bastard cover a fair bit of ground on this release, and it's all the better for it. This is cathartic music that wears its influences on its sleeve. In general, it's more Parkway Drive than Architects, more Throwdown than Converge, and Hang The Bastard's strength lies in their stripped-down but still engaging dynamics. This results in a promising album that achieves what it sets out to do in visceral, angry fashion, but there's not a whole lot to keep you coming back for more if you like your metal complex or progressive. Whilst this album may not make quite enough of a name for themselves to compete with the other noose-themed band in their niche, you can bet they've got potential to leave your breathless. Photobucket