Nasty southern death and roll
Birds of Prey are a metal super group featuring both current and previous members of Alabama Thunderpussy, Baroness, Municipal Waste, Burnt By The Sun and Human Remains. Having never heard any of these bands before I had exactly zero idea of what Weight of the Wound was going to sound like.
There is definitely a distinctive southern sound on this record, think Soilent Green for reference. It has a really nasty and dirty feel to it which works heavily in its favour. Contrary to other opinions about this record, it is a sound and a style that I believe has been explored before, with the best example being Wolverine Blues era Entombed.
Something about this album makes me want to like it a lot more than I feel I should, because it’s obviously not pushing any boundaries, but it’s just so goddamn groovy, almost to the point of causing a hypnotic effect. I often found when listening that I either had my head nodding or my foot tapping along with the music giving me strong reason to believe that at the next gathering I attend, this album will be in tow.
After hearing this album it is hard to believe that this is the band’s first release because it sounds as though they have been playing together for years. This tightness and familiarity between the band mates shows through and makes Weight of the Wound sound all the more professional and cohesive.
Weight of the Wound wasn’t an instant hit with me. It took a few listens to really sink in and work its magic. My immediate impressions were that the band played simple and generic metal. It was only after absorbing the album a little more that I realised that yes, the music is simplistic for the most part, but this is done on purpose because above all else this album has one singular purpose; to rock and roll. It is the groove element that takes precedence above all else.
I think ultimately your liking of this album will come down to whether you plan to listen with your head or your ears. If you are likely to sit down and analyse the album then you might hear songs made up of simple riffs and little meaningful variation. But if you are prepared to just sit back and take it all in, then you may just experience one of the grooviest metal albums to have come out in years.
(Relapse Records/Riot! Distributors)