Yes, drummer David is that Wilbrahammer in doom gang Witchsorrow as well as that Wilbeherit in the new promise of the British black-thrash nastiness, Cultfinger.
Out at the Sludgeswamp back in time we had all been knocked down by the tracks these guys sent in from their badass, wildly rocking self-titled debut EP dating back to 2011. Ah, it had been like a plague, all steamrolled flat by heavily rocking revelation XII Boar virus. In the meantime the band has been keeping very very busy with much live activity, much involvement of fans, enthusiastic appreciation by webzines and magazines all over (Terrorizer, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer …) and with the making of another slab of juicy dirty heaviness of their kind, the flamboyant self-produced new EP Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof out in early 2012. XII Boar are a tireless riff machine. Their base is the explosive mixture of manly, Grifter-like and Clutch-like whiskey-soaked, southern blues-laden sludgy rockn and thrashy, Lemmy-styled, sleazy punkish rock’n’roll, all lead by relentless, shamelessly badass distorted riffs and backed by crazy drumming. On this base, especially as of late, they add substantial doom, sludge and some fine old-school metal. Tommy Hardrocks’ heavy raaaawking rough vocals are the cherry on the cake as they are going to peel your bones even through the earphones and make you roar along like a lion at the same time!
Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP: four tracks for almost 30 minutes of wild sweating and headbanging according what the band is feeling like doing for straining their axes and skins and throat. Because these tracks do not sound all the same and because they generally last substantially long for the band to make incursions into different territories of heaviness where they belong and have fun.
Especially if this EP is your first encounter with XII Boar, with the opening track Smokin’ Bones you get the immediate glimpse, or, sorry, I should say, you are immediately slapped in your face by the bruising, alcoholic, groovy, rough, no-mercy metallic rock vibe emanating from the band’s style. Smokin’ Bones is deeply drenched in very catchy classic rock’n’roll hinting to southern sludgy metal, but you’ve got also those “trve” heavy metal accelerations or those sudden, short but raging insertions of quite aggressive thrash metal that add some nastiness to the groove. Yummi …
The 6:13 minutes-long “suite” Hellspeed Viper is the longest track of this lot and is probably the most varied one. This track is very much “metallic” and aggressive, and lead by quite technical, relentless, pressing riffs. Heavy metal played with maximum distortion, roughness, angrily howling solos nested in the roaring background riffs and cataclysmic drumming … Then halfway through the band will steer and draw you into a crushing doom charge arriving after being announced by a distant rumble. What comes after is some great riff-based heavy doom metal in the vein of Orange Goblin, High On Fire as well as some Pentagram. With track Slamhound the dudes are back into wild party time, a party duly ruled by a brotherhood of Lemmy and Alabama Thunderpussy. This killer sleazy track is for me also the occasion for using an expression I can’t much use (as I write often about doom): full throttle … Dirty fukkin’ alcoholic rock’n’roll! The final track Triclops is another, this time full, excursion into Doom in spite of the mid-tempo pace of the leading melody. This dark sludgy track is lead by a ponderous martial obsessive riff coupled with drumming sounding like machinegun shots. Tommy’s raucous shouts sound dramatic here, and all in all atmospheres and sounds easily recall Crowbar, Down and so on. In the second part of the track some great technical shreds and a beautiful guitar solo impart a charming epic feeling to the dominant doomy charge.
XII Boar’s debut self-titled EP was awesome in its contagious rough energy. Even the production was quite gritty, perfect for the aggressive hard-rocking and sludgy style of those deeply groove-laden and dynamic early tracks and for evoking the smokey alcoholic atmospheres of the pubs where they were likely first delivered. In the debut EP the expertise of these musicians was already apparent. XII Boar’s guys are highly skilled musicians with a smart taste and able to make highly catchy and party-time hard music with class. In the new Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP the guys went further and incorporated different metal genres, including doom, in their way, i.e., never forgetting to load any riff they make with groove.
It is about time that these lads make a fat debut full-length album because the EP formula is far too short to quench the thirst of riffs they induce. In the meantime, folks, enjoy Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP and get hold of XII Boar’s debut EP as well, if you missed it (it is offered as free download or with a donation on the band’s websites). Keep track of the band also via Tommy Hardrock’s cool music blog. And if you are located in UK, get hold of these guys in one of their crushing gigs …
Words: Marilena Moroni
XII Boar | Official Website
XII Boar | Facebook
XII Boar | Bandcamp
Tommy Hardrocks Blog
XII BOAR - Slamhound (Official Music Video)