Trolls in smoking...
Genre: instrumental sludge rock
Hibagọn is an Italian rock duo, and their first offering is the not very aptly but nonetheless awesomely entitled album that goes by the name Hibagọn VS Monsters Spewed from Time's Stomach to Clutch the Universe in a Mortal Slime.
While there is a slightly sludgy feel to the album in the form of some Southern grooves and a dirty and crunchy guitar sound, this album, I would say, is primarily a hard rock album. But it is different for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is instrumental, which is unusual in the world of hard rock, and which really gives the listener the opportunity to really focus on the many crushing grooves, as well as the more uplifting riffage (such as the highway-friendly main riff of 'Krakatoa') found on the album, some of which even manage to combine Southern darkness with North-Western grungy minimalism (as heard in the jazz fusion meets sludge rock epic that is 'Silent Assault of the Killer Diplodocus). And that is, indeed, somewhat of a feat. Secondly, the Italian duo play around with genre transcendence, as they not only draw on various hard rock subgenres and sludge metal, but also throw jazz- and swing-sections into the mix, as heard in 'Trolls in Smoking', while several of the riffs heard on the entire album tend to be very funky, and the album intro 'Pirates of the Red Dune' is a psychotic waltz of sorts (pun, admittedly, intended).
As mentioned, the production is considerably dirty, which is one of the contributors of the album's more sludgy character. While the drums have an organic live sound to them, the rythm guitars and bass are phat and fuzzy, and the lead guitar has an Aerosmith-like twang to it (that is, if Aerosmith had taken steroids rather than drugs).
Fans of instrumental rock, who are looking for an alternative to the shred-and-pout style of music that is often associated with instrumental rock these days, should definitely give this album a listen. It is raw, kinda progressive, and definitely alternative – and fans of sludge rock must not miss out on it.
... oh, and how awesome is that cover artwork!!!
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)