Boss Keloid are fast becoming a strong contender in the sludge/stoner/doom community throughout the UK. Having shared stages with the likes of Gurt, Slabdragger and Raging Speedhorn, they are on their way to changing the shape of the sludge sound with intelligent writing and impressive vocals.
Boss Keloid begin with a huge slab of sludge in opening track “Lung Mountain”, a true beast of a track packed with abundant riffs and impressive vocal hooks. The quieter moments in the track serve as good framing for the onslaught of heaviness that fills the track and the vocals soar with range and versatility.
The most notable quality (instrumentally) throughout Herb Your Enthusiasm is the use of double octave guitar with an already present and heavy bass tone. While “Lung Mountain” serves as an assured opener, Boss Keloid show off more of an experimental edge with songs such as “Haarlem Struggle” and “Cone”; which take on more of a Melvins vibe with the use of vocal harmonies, changing time patterns and some heavy droning riffs. “Cone” is a personal favourite of mine as it shows an experimental edge to Herb Your Enthusiasm.
There are times when the double octave becomes somewhat distracting, specifically in “Escapegoat” when it can’t quite cover the lower frequencies when the guitars play higher in the scale. This is only a technical quibble and is-by and large-the biggest complaint that I have about Herb Your Enthusiasm. So pretty minor really.
Vocally this is a very impressive album, with the vocalist being able to keep a huge amount of power while singing vibrato. The style of the vocals are also a breath of fresh air. In the wonderful world of sludge metal, harsh incomprehensible vocals are ubiquitous, so hearing melody is actually an interesting choice, not a bad one either for the style of Boss Keloid.
The Shortest track on Herb Your Enthusiasm is “Highatus”. In all honesty it serves as a good place saver, but unfortunately has little impact. However, I have to admit that it lends itself very well into “Lung Valley,” a slow building monolith of a song that once it gets going really packs a punch. The use of harmonies in this song (both guitar and vocal) are the strongest on an album already packed full them.
The final two tracks “Chabal” and “Hot Priest” represent the sound of Herb Your Enthusiasm and Boss Keloid as a whole. Two almighty tracks of sludge goodness that don’t let up or let you go until they have reached their glorious conclusions. Heavy as all Hell!
Boss Keloid have certainly set themselves apart from the rest of the pack with Herb Your Enthusiasm. Yes, it’s heavy, yes, it’s sludgy, but it’s also a vastly intelligent and thought provoking release that shows a band’s sound is anything they want it to be and more.
Herb Your Enthusiasm will be released on 8th April, 2016 via Black Bow Records.
Herb Your Enthusiasm tack listing:
Boss Keloid are:
Paul Swarbick – Guitars
Ste Arands – Drums
Adam Swarbick – Bass
Alex Hurst – Vocals