Back in 2012 I reviewed an EP by a small, Washington-based band called Dog Shredder. That EP, “Brass Tactics”, was a full-fledged aural assualt that spared no expense in crafting crushingly heavy and delightfully intricate songs that blended together elements from all genres of weird and unorthodox metal. Sadly, when I went looking for them later in the year I found a broken Bandcamp page, with little information to their whereabouts.
It was a most pleasant surprise then, to find MetalSucks streaming a EP from a band called Wild Throne, who are the new incarnation of the same three dudes that formed Dog Shredder. They have just released their debut, “Blood Maker”, via Brutal Panda Records and to get things started, I fucking love that cover. Not the most important aspect maybe but a pleasant indication of the experience to come.
As one might be able to infer from a blind woman with antlers holding a falcon and snake, Wild Throne play a very similar, albeit slightly evolved form of the ferocity that made up “Brass Tactics”. The one key difference that was most apparent to my ears was the more emotionally-driven and heady melodies that now share the sound waves with their trademark teeth-gnashing technicality.
This dude has one hell of a set of pipes, matching his vocals lines from soaring chorus to howling verse without every stepping out of time with the instrumental madness being conjured up. It’s that ever-loved sound of epic and beautiful harmonies contrasted with the fury and tenacity of musicians that want to melt your damn ear drums. A sound that was maybe not invented but was certainly popularized by Mastodon and has been evolving ever since.
However Wild Throne’s sound is much more abrasive and rough-hewn than the expansive sludge riffs that Mastodon wield. Sharp, jabbing guitar leads with heavy influences from math rock and even jazz, all carried out with maximum amplitude and power. An ever-shifting ball of schizophrenic melodies, their sound is akin to a hopped-up hedgehog with blood stained spikes, black eyes and chainsaws for fingers. Just because.
It’s this kind of amphetamine-fueled disregard for conventions and willingness to get weird that makes me excited for modern heavy music. Bands willing to stuff all of their influences in a blender and see what the hell comes out in the puree. While this isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success, it yields exceptional results in the hands of musicians as capable as these guys.
There are three tracks on this EP and not a single one of them will leave you wanting anything other more than a full-length in the very, very near future. Dynamic. Heavy. Progressive. Fucking downright exciting. All the buzzwords are applicable here and does not take much imagination to see these guys getting real popular in the coming years. $3 on Bandcamp. You should probably get on that.