Review : RED FANG – "Murder the Mountains"

Red FangMurder the Mountains
Release: 2011Apr12 (US)
Label: Relapse
Rating: 4.5/5

I first discovered Red Fang opening for Clutch at a show which also happened to fall on frontman Maurice Bryan Giles’ birthday. Whether or not it was a fluke because of the birthday excitement or not, I don’t know, but they fucking rocked. Combined with other opener Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Clutch actually failed to be the highlight of the night. But anyway…

The Fang‘s new sophomore full-length, Murder the Mountains, is their first release since moving to a new label—and I applaud Relapse for signing them. The band deftly maneuver through a “who’s who” of stoner and sludge metal, wielding influences primarily from Seattle (the Melvins, Soundgarden, etc.) and Southern California (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and such). They wear their forefathers proudly on their sleeve (“Malverde” may as well be cut straight off Houdini), but the beauty in this album is that it never once sounds like a ripoff. I realize the paradoxical nature of what I’ve just said, but allow me to explain…

In most cases, Red Fang actually nails the sound of the band they’re impersonating better than the bands themselves. This is what made their self-titled debut so great and what makes Murder the Mountains even better. The riffs are rugged, the production is thick, and the delivery is perfect—something that, at times, is not true for even the most legendary of artists.

TL;DR version: Buy this album.

01. Malverde
02. Wires
03. Hank Is Dead
04. Dirt Wizard
05. Throw Up
06. Painted Parade
07. Number Thirteen
08. Into the Eye
09. The Undertow
10. Human Herd

~Willie Strausser

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