It charges forth from speakers bursting with volume, their sides almost splitting with the vibrations. Cracks run their lengths; mercifully it ceases. A pause, for just one second, and then off again, kicking up a London-shrouding cloud of black ash and poisonous dust. The cloud grows, outwards and upwards, swallowing the sky and blackening the sun. Children hide under kitchen tables, their mothers bring the washing in, hurriedly, and close all the windows, locking them tight. Lighting – one fork, two, sheet – and thunder. Black fucking thunder.
This Black Thunder is the meteorological by-product of no apocalyptic horsemen; rather, it’s the new album from Boston-based supergroup of sorts, Doomriders. Taking their metallic cues from every classic rocker in the book and amplifying them the fuck up, Black Thunder is the record those moved to devil-horn high-fives by recent Relapse releases – Mastodon, High On Fire – will throw on while chugging back chilled beers and rocking the fuck out for no reason other than that they can. It’s raw, rampant, and thoroughly fun. Kurt Ballou (Converge) captured it, and the transfer from live room to CD doesn’t lessen the quartet’s impact one iota. This is brilliant bombast, from thunderous opening title track to cataclysmic finish, ‘Sirens’.
Really, let ups are few and far between: rather than allow the listener to recover from brain-bludgeoning bulldozers like ‘Ride Or Die’, Doomriders simply keep the pedal to the metal, producing some finely titled standouts in the process. ‘Deathbox’, ‘Drag Them Down’ and, most particularly, ‘Fuck This Shit’ do everything you’d expect them to, titles considered. They're Thin Lizzy gone mad-for-hardcore, Led Zeppelin with a sense of mu'fucking metal humour
When silence falls and the clouds break, all one wants to do is plunge right back into the darkness.
7Mike Diver's Score