Allfather - A Violent Truth review
|Album:||A Violent Truth|
|Release date:||March 2023|
01. Poison Soil
02. Black Lungs
03. Take Their Eyes
04. A False Peace
05. The Hunt Infernal
06. Cast Off The Cross
It’s now been over four years since the last High On Fire record dropped; yes, there has been Matt Pike material since them, but it’s been a long wait for new material from the band itself, particularly given reports from 2020 (admittedly pre-pandemic) of new songs being written. Well, if you’ve got a hankering for more high-octane sludge in the same vein, Allfather’s A Violent Truth is well worth a listen.
At 28 minutes long, it’s certainly not a listen that will devour a whole bunch of your time if you do give it a try. Allfather have released longer records in the past, with 2018’s And All Will Be Desolation a whole 50% longer than its belated follow-up. Like many albums, it was belated due to disruption resulting from the pandemic, and anger from the pandemic, and the emboldening of oppressive tyrants and extremist movements within these last years, comes to the fore on this record. High On Fire are the easiest reference point for Allfather, but like the American trio’s music, this isn’t just straight sludge; the tempo and energy draws more from thrash, while other extreme metal styles bear some degree of influence. On top of that, early sludge is often described as the fusion of doom metal and hardcore punk, and there’s a few clear moments here where hardcore influences come through, most obviously some hefty breakdowns later in the tracklist.
Still, sludge is the overriding style, and early cut “Black Lungs” has both the title and the riffs to fit right into that style; the dirty, low end-heavy production, gnarly riffs and roared vocals are fittingly abrasive, and the descent into crushingly heavy doominess midway through is a treat. Allfather sound pretty immense at their slowest; “The Hunt Infernal” is initially opposite to this, opening with blackened tremolo and blast beats that betray some of their wider musical interests, but the opening is a case of misdirection, as the sludgy doomy powerhouse riffs and slick solos later on are a long way from black metal.
Probably the pick of the bunch on the tracklist for me is closer “Cast Off The Cross”; initially, the thrashy opening is probably the point where Allfather most obviously resemble High On Fire, and they get faster and fiercer before thoughts even consider turning to doomy dirges. However, midway through, there’s a break into an ominous cleaner groove, one that serves as a really nice demonstration of the band’s range, and which leads sumptuously into a more melodic, yet no less impactful, second half and climaxto the record. In some ways, it’s a slight shame that “Cast Off The Cross” stands relatively alone on A Violent Truth in venturing into such waters, but at the same time, the more malevolent brooding moments, such as the climax of “Poison Soil”, or the massiveness of the breakdown in “Take Their Eyes”, these aspects of Allfather are very much satisfying in their own ways.
30 minutes of no-nonsense sludge fury that delivers on the riff, solo, and songwriting fronts, A Violent Truth isn’t doing anything special in terms of originality, but it’s got everything that genre fans are looking for. Whichever sludge band you’re waiting patiently to get more material from, this record will make the wait a whole lot more bearable.
||Written on 29.03.2023 by|
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