Red Fang: Whales And Leeches

Portland rockers bring the riffs

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Although it’s admirable that they’ve branched out into more progressive realms, there are those people who miss the days when the likes of Mastodon, Baroness and Kylesa would write albums that were packed to the brim with nothing but thunderous riffs. If you are one of those people then we bring you good news: Red Fang appear to be on a crusade to fill that void.

Whales And Leeches is an album created with the sole intention of rumbling the very foundations of your home, and while the spirit of Tony Iommi and Matt Pike are blindingly obvious here, there is also a large dose of old-school gumby metal thrown in for good measure. The seven-minute Dawn Rising evokes all the fire and brimstone of classic Dio as much as it does Kyuss.

For the most part, though, Red Fang are content with knuckling down to blast through as many fuzzy, distorted guitar licks as is humanly possible within three minutes, as they do on Blood Like Cream and Voices Of The Dead. Much like Orange Goblin, Red Fang clearly aren’t interested in progressive song structures or pushing metal’s boundaries but they’ll certainly make you bang your head as hard as anyone.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.