|Label:||Burning World Records|
If you want weight, Liverpool drone/doom trio Conan doth provide weight. They haven't introduced a panic jazz element to their music; they've taken what they did on 2010's 'Horseback Battle Hammer', and enforced even more heathen sparsity. Most of the songs have enough heavy animation to make you move, albeit at woolly mammoth-pace, though all but charred traces of yer blues are burnt away. The guitar tone is not far off that on more formless avant-drone outings: like putting my ear to the top of a garden chiminea in the middle of an aerosol purge. Murderous.
The imagery is centred in textbook Riffland: a non-specific pre-Christian landscape of mythological beasts, axes, thrones, birds of prey and tribal conflict. What Conan do well is align this to the music in ruthlessly pared-down form. It reads like the rudimentary constructions of early language: 'Heavy black bow. Swift death in flight.' It's all vocalised with a clever mix between a hearty 'Dopesmoker' bellow and a less prominent cracked scream.
'Monnos' is monotonous in the best possible way: the consistency of tone creates a drowned world that envelops and pulls me in. There are a couple of astutely-timed changes in pace though: instrumental 'Golden Axe' is a Carlson-clean mirage with ornate cymbal flouishes, and 'Battle in the Swamp' sporadically goes into a berserker rage of muddy Celtic Frost thrash.
I visited the caves of Kents Cavern in Torquay in about 2007, and despite all its spectacular breccia formations and stalactites, the journey was somewhat marred by the incessant ramblings of the tour guide. UNESCO should insist on a Conan installation at all such attractions. The whole family will be transported back to a time when pressing concerns were not hosepipe bans or petrol prices, just joyfully smashing the skulls of the neighbouring villagers, and the pasties of their wives. When Sir Macca next returns to Liverpool, a nearby Conan rehearsal may well turn him carnivore.
Posted: Thu 19 April 2012