22 Jan 2016

Conan: "Revengeance"

When it just can't be heavy enough
Conan is one of those bands born out of good ol' frustration and wild abandon. Those feelings are well and truly evident in their screamed vocals and ultra-heavy riffs. They've had somewhat of a comet-like career, gaining a loyal audience from early on with their two EPs "Battle in the Swamp" and "Horseback Battle Hammer". If those titles don't set the mood for what the band themselves call "caveman battle doom" I don't know what does.

"Conan's desolate and simplistic, yet organic, melodies feel like several crushing blows that will crack your skull."

"Revengeance" marks the third proper album release by the band, Jon Davis returning with two new members. With tracks like "Throne of Fire", "Wrath Gauntlet" and "Earthenguard" you can almost feel the crushing gravity with which the album has been written and executed. It's an album that, like its predecessors, packs both punch and battle axe, with savage beatings in the form of heavy riffing. Conan's desolate and simplistic, yet organic, melodies feel like several crushing blows that will crack your skull. Their trademark marching stoner drones, mostly evident on "Every Man is an Enemy", makes its glorious triumphant return, rightfully putting forth Conan as heir to the throne of heaviness.

The soundscape is as dense as ever, but the faster tracks present on Conan's third album really sets a contrast, underscoring just how heavy tracks like "Thunderhoof" actually are. That said the British trio are of course, as always, keeping it at a primarily crawling pace.

A term like "heavy metal" seems tailored for a band such as Conan, but at the same time also seems completely understated. When you heard the term used as a derogatory description in the late 60s or early 70s to describe bands like Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf or Alice Cooper, it seems almost an insult to like their heaviness to that of Conan. Though "Revengeance" packs quite a punch, it doesn't have the same powerful, commanding presence that Monnos and Blood Eagle did, falling easier into the background. But with "Revengeance", Jon Davis and company strike the same nerve as they've always done: The insatiable thirst for the heaviest of metals.


Released in 2016 by Napalm Records

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