Date Released: 04/29/2016
Label: Static Tension Recordings
Album Type: Full Length
Album info: Bandcamp
A year after their No Gods, No Masters EP, Rochester’s finest, Allfather, have let rip another anger filled snarling album, Bless the Earth with Fire.
“Raskolnikov” opens up this beast with a peal of drums and guitar feedback and growling vocals. I have never seen Allfather play live, but I imagine they are one of those hardcore pedigree bands that will be in your face from the start, ensuring that the audience are paying attention! As I listen to this, I can see Tom the vocalist stamping round my living room, getting in to a right tizzy!
Things slow down with “The Bloody Noose” a title that doesn’t shy away from provocation. This tune is less than half the speed of the opener, with a lovely chugga-chugga guitar that just rolls along whilst Tom continues to growl, no less spiteful, in a sludgier vein. And just after halfway through they reach a cliff, where I fully expected to be launched off, however, they pull out a trick and surprise me with a grooving stoner vibe, where did that come from?! I am now dancing like the Crazy World of Arthur Brown! Finishing with some wild lead wah-wah geetar shows there is more to Allfather than grinding power, barrage and angered sludge.
“Mouth of the Beast” returns to the faster crust/grindcore approach but still with a rolling groovy train of chugging guitar to keep an extra dimension present throughout. A midway break down allows them to take a rest with some far out quiet times (!) where drums, guitar and vocals all briefly take a centre stage of their own – maybe this is where they introduce the band in a stadium rock style? No, maybe not.
Eleven minuter “Death, and Hell Followed With Him” starts as you might expect, slowly introducing the tune carefully instrument by instrument before it knits together and swims around my head, it is of substantial length to get lost in, which is what I was hoping for. Pure indulgence, with tempo changes and even lead solos to keep up the stamina.
I so want to see this band play live on a bill with brutal British bands Sealclubber and Opium Lord – I might not make it out alive, but it would have been a worthy way to go!
Bonus track time: The previously released “Blood Red Sunset” finishes us off, but it’s a faster cacophony of a tune and I feel it should have been slotted in earlier as “Death..” was such a perfect way to close the album. Its final few minutes of instrumentation was where I wanted to leave it. However, a bonus is a bonus!