Sep 28, 2012
Wheelfall - "Interzone" ...
Musically Wheelfall follow the blueprint made by bands such as Goatsnake, The Obsessed, Sleep, and Kyuss but there is grooves happening here that have more in common with bands like early Fu Manchu. Yes the band proudly display their influences but they do it all so well that the lack of original ideas is never a issue. Lyrical concepts are influenced by H.G. Wells and
John Carpenter novels and the entire album has a great sci-fi feel about it that is totally engaging.
This new album will seem a bit different from their first release due to more epic nature of its songs. Four out of the six songs are well over the eight minute mark with the title track being extended out well past 22 minutes of sheer electrifying stoner doom and sludge. After a intro piece named here as 'Prelude' the band launch themselves into 'Howling' which begins with a lot of aggression by doom standards while still keeping it down-tuned and slow. Apart from the intro, this is the albums shortest track at 5 minutes but they pack so much into the track with a wide range of heavy styles that the track can seem far more epic than it actually is. 'Howling' is a great track in its own right but the album only gets even better from here on.
'Howling' is followed by 'Holy Sky' which is over 8 minutes of fuzzed-out pedal to the metal doom grooves that is bursting with a captivating atmosphere. There is the feeling of trepidation and ominous fear with this track that highlights the bands bluesy, stoner influences. The stoner-rock is exchanged for total sludge-metal for the next track 'The Parasite Ravages' but like with 'Howling' it is blended with a smorgasbord of other styles including 70's classic rock but at no time does it get anything less than skull-crushingly heavy. Vocalist Wayne Furter shows he is a singer of the highest quality and has already come a long way since the bands debut release. There are nasty but classy guitar passages that shows that the bands guitar duo are a force to be reckon with and are highly skilled musicians.
From here on, the album goes up yet another notch with 'It Comes from the Mist' which reminds me of a doom version of Fu Manchu but only with far more musical twists and turns. The grooves come at you thick and fast and this song seems to be over and out in just a few minutes but it is actually a pulverizing 10 minutes. Just when you think you have heard it all, Wheelfall pull out all the stops for the 22 minute onslaught of the title track which is such a mind-bending, neck-snapping listening experience I am a bit loss for words to describe this epic track. All the styles that influence this band are featured during the track that keeps your attention right up to its dying seconds. If there was ever a track so good that it should be able to sell an album by itself, it is this brilliant piece of epic-ness. Great guitar playing, very sleazy bass grooves and one killer riff after killer riff. It has been a long time since I have heard a song so packed to the gills with so many great riffs.
The production is top-notch, the musicianship is excellent and it is easily a major highlight of 2012. If their last release went under your radar, you would be crazy to miss this one. They are a french band but something about this reminded me of the very best of US desert rock from the 90's but only (dare I say it) with better riffs. All I can say is buy it, it is a awesome album that every doom, stoner and sludge fan should own.....10/10.
Words: Jack Sabbath ( This review is dedicated to Ed Barnard, may he return to us ASAP. Please speed up this happening by sending him a donation. )