Special Feature: Red, white and black splatter on grey vinyl.
- Black Thunder
- The Long Walk
- Ride or Die
- Listen Up!
- Midnight Eye
- Fuck This Shit
- The Chase
- Voice of Fire
- Drag Them Down
- The Whipcrack
Label: Magic Bullet Records
Sludge has always been one of my favorite and preferred styles of Metal. This intricate and interesting fusion of Doom Metal and Hardcore Punk is the perfect formula for concocting Heavy-hitting and Catchy guitar riffs. We all know the big names, like Mastodon, Baroness, Eyehategod, etc. However, the band Doomriders rarely gets brought up. They are a very underrated blend of Sludge Metal and Traditional Heavy Metal, and today I will be going back and reviewing their under-appreciated debut, Black Thunder.
The different musical influences that the band take influence from often subtly interchange. Sometimes it’s Sludge (example: Sirens), sometimes it’s Heavy Metal (example: Black Thunder), and sometimes it’s Hardcore (example: Fuck This Shit) that takes the lead. While Doomriders are not the only band to do this, I feel like this album is fairly unique. Every song stands out on it’s own as a new and interesting experience, which gives the listener a drive to keep listening, so they can find out what’s going to happen next. It’s an epic and groovy experience that I think fans of all different kinds of Metal can enjoy.
This is a very guitar driven record, and while the riffs are to die for, every instrumentalist is immensely talented, and the band as whole is a force to be reckoned with in terms of songwriting capabilities. Despite this being guitar music, the low ends that the Bass guitar has to offer are still loud and clear in the mix, giving the album the depth that it needs. The drumming is also impeccable, and his Hardcore Punk D-beat influenced style fits in very well with the rest of the music. I also thoroughly enjoy the vocals on Black Thunder. His chaotic, shouting style of harsh vocals were destined to be the voice of this group to victory.
The production value is also definitely worth mentioning. This is how Sludge records should be produced. It’s of a high enough quality so everything is audible, but it is also Raw enough to pack a mean punch. Everything is exactly where it needs to be in the mix. The guitars aren’t too trebbley (I don’t think that’s a word) but also not too bassy so that the actual Bass Guitar is still audible. The drums take the back seat, but are still clear enough to be appreciated, and the Vocals are also loud enough to enjoy, but also quiet enough so that the all of the extra unwanted frequencies that come with recording Harsh vocals are left out of the equation.
Black Thunder by Doomriders is definitely an under-appreciated classic in the Sludge Metal world. However nothing I can say will do it enough justice, the best way to experience Black Thunder is to just go listen to it yourself so you can form your own opinions. While positive reviews aren’t necessarily my strong suit, I felt like that this album deserves some love and affection. So if you’re into bands like Baroness, Elder, or Black Tusk, I would definitely recommend this album to you. - Nistang (AminoApps.com January 18, 2017)