Prizehog's latest LP, Re-Unvent the Whool, today. I've received promo materials from them before, and they were good, but they didn't grab me the way that this album is, just ripping my psyche apart. It's also somewhat more gratifying that I came upon this one myself by chance, having not received a promo for it.
These guys, once of San Francisco, now of Portland, OR, have managed to make an album that practically runs the gamut of everything that I love about extreme music. The first thing about the record, and the thing that really sucked me in, was just how god damned heavy it is. Readers know that I am personally a sucker for true monolithic heaviness, and Re-Unvent the Whool has that in spades. There are tons of amazingly crushing, down-tuned doom and sludge riffs, but what really brings this album into next-level territory is the way those riffs are augmented by an extremely unnerving psychedelic element. Sure, there are plenty of metal bands that incorporate psychedelia into their sound, but there's something special about the way that Prizehog have done it on this record. It's not just twisting and turning in its atmosphere - it's also fucking noisy as hell. The noise never lets the music become unintelligible, though, but I have to say that the tendency it has to practically stop time dead in its tracks is appreciated. This shit is easy to get lost in.
Interestingly enough, it is the vocals that really hold this album together. They are perfectly executed in every respect, and while the guitars, bass, drums, and all the other elements are cohesive in how they bring the songs together, the vocals are, to me, the thing that really turns this record into a beast. They crank this album up, and turn it from a metal record into a gargantuan effort of absolutely seismic proportions. They don't sound the same, but the vocals on this record do for it what Dino Sommese's and John Gossard's vocals did for Asunder. If you know me at all, you know that a comparison to Asunder is not something that I would ever take lightly or throw around aimlessly, and you know that it says a lot for how I feel about this record.
Re-Unvent the Whool can be streamed and/or downloaded from Prizehog's Bandcamp page, and you can also pick up the LP there. Alternately, you can support the label and buy the LP though Eolian Empire Records.