71TONMAN - Of End Times review
|Album:||Of End Times|
|Release date:||March 2023|
You're here because you want heavy music, right? Well, how about 71-ton-heavy?
71TONMAN is a Polish band that over the course of two LPs and one EP have refined their blend of doom, sludge, and old-school death into a fearsome weapon. Their newest instalment, Of End Times, uses their expertly honed skills to create oppressive, lumbering music that will surely please fans of this sinister subgenre mix.
The song titles here are based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Originally, the Four Horsemen first appeared in the Old Testament's prophetic Book of Zechariah and in the Book of Ezekiel, where they were named Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. Theologians later decided to replace Conquest with Plague, to avoid similarities with the War Horseman, although their difference is quite easy to understand: Conquest represented external warfare, while War referred to internal strife. 71TONMAN have oddly chosen a new interpretation of their own, scrapping Death entirely to include both Conquest and Plague.
Now that you've grasped the concept of the album, let's look at the musicianship. In line with the morbid song titles and bleak charcoal cover art, 71TONMAN deliver some truly crushing sensations. The spiteful vocal performances resemble the earth-shattering cries of some massive behemoth that perfectly complement the thick, bludgeoning guitar riffs. The suffocating atmosphere and repetitive riffs (such as during the ending of "War") remind of laborious funeral doom. But, unlike most slow doom, this album contains a clear, driving force that keeps the music flowing and the audience captivated — whether it's the recurring groovy riff on "Plague" or the thunderous rhythm in the middle section of "Famine".
Still, despite my personal appreciation of the unforgiving performance, I realize that the song structure might not be suitable for every listener. Although the band do employ several hooks, each of the four 10-minute long songs can be a chore to get through, especially for listeners inexperienced with extreme doom. There is little variety in the pace (remaining mid-tempo for the majority of the runtime) and no relief from the pummeling during these 40 minutes of raucous metal. This baby is only for those who enjoy running the aural gauntlet, trampled by rampaging drums and torn apart by buzzsaw riffs.
In conclusion, for those of you who love the monstrous sounds of punishing doom and the stifling atmosphere of death metal, 71TONMAN have cooked up one fine pot of sludge just for you. Eat up!
||Written on 03.03.2023 by|
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