RED FANG — Murder the Mountains (review)

RED FANG — Murder the Mountains album cover Album · 2011 · Stoner Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Murder the Mountains is the 2nd full-length studio album by US heavy metal/ stoner metal act Red Fang. The album was released in April 2011 by Relapse Records.

The music on Murder the Mountains is a very accessible and hookladen form of metal/ stoner metal. I think of bands like Soundgarden, Corrosion of Conformity and a bit of Black Sabbath too but it´s mostly Queens of the Stone Age that comes to mind. Actually there are times when I´m in doubt if it´s Queens of the Stone Age that I´m listening to. That´s how close some of the melodies on this album are to the melodies created by Queens of the Stone Age. Red Fang are a much heavier acquaintance though and while my above description of the music might say the opposite, Red Fang have their own style, so never think they are clones.

The songwriting is excellent. The songs on the album are catchy, memorable and just rock the house. It´s not that often I come across albums where I upon first listen know that it´s something special I´m listening to. Thankfully repeated listens reveal that the album is also a keeper and to some extent a grower because I´m getting more and more fond of the album the more I listen to it. One other great asset besides the songwriting, is the great musicianship on the album. The vocals are are both smooth and raw ( not in an extreme way raw) and suits the music very well. The instrumental playing is also impeccable and upon closer examination there are some really interesting guitar work going on. The songs aren´t just mindless vers/ chorus based either. While that might be the basis in the songs, I really appreciate how the band incorporate other sections into the songs, or how they change the songs during the playing time. The best example is probably "Thrown Up", which features both a heavy beginning and a faster paced middle section.

The production is very professional and well sounding. It´s got a warmth to it that suits the music well. The accessible nature of the album is also in large part due to the production.

Murder the Mountains imidiately ignited my interest, and after several listens I´m still very pleased with how this album sounds. I was a bit in doubt if the accessible nature of the music would make me lose interest after a couple of listens, but I guess the songwriting is so strong that it doesn´t happen. So if you enjoy stoner rock/ metal with both an alternative and a sludgy edge I can highly recommend Murder the Mountains. One of the really good surprises I´ve had so far this year. A 4 star rating is deserved.
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