Artist: Barbarian Hermit
Label: APF Records
Release Date: 29/01/2021, originally released as an EP on 22/02/2016
Country: United Kingdom
Written by James Sweetlove
The band hail from Manchester, United Kingdom and formed back in 2013. They play a blend of hard rock, stoner, doom and sludge metal. The album was originally released as a self-titled EP back in 2016 but has now been remastered and includes an additional almost 10 minute track. The band is Simon Prato Scarlett (vocals), Mike Regan (guitars), Adam Robertshaw (guitars), Chris Wood (bass) and Loz Brindley (drums). The album was remastered by Chris Fielding (Conan) at Skyhammer Studios.
Right off the first two words that come to mind when listening to this album are “heavy” and “groovy” and I guarantee you that the music you will hear is equal parts of both. The fuzz is just as thick as you would hope it would be with a band name like Barbarian Hermit. Additionally, I’m happy to say that the levels of downtuning and distortion are just where you want them to be. There actually a lot of variety on the album as far as guitar tone goes, as well as the various styles and influences that are drawn upon regarding the riffs and hooks on the release. We go from slow, crushingly heavy segments to more fast paced, high energy galloping segments where the groove really shines through. The fact that we have two guitarists working in tandem on this album really fleshes out the overall sound and density of the mix.
The vocals on the album are clean but are very much on the gruffer side of things, almost to the point where they feel barked to an extent. Think along the lines of bands like Orange Goblin and Alabama Thunderpussy. They’re extremely well suited to the overall level of swagger that the music possesses. The drum work on the album is solid, with a heft helping of cymbal in the mix and a variation of different styles employed as needed. Bass wise things are thick and chunky, which helps to fill out the overall sound of an album that already has plenty of heft thanks to its dual guitar assault.
The entire album is fantastic, but I have to give special props to the final track on the album Through the Periscope of the Deadly Sub, the track that was added to the album as part of the remaster and re-release. It comes in at 9:28 and is a sludgy epic of a song. It’s a slow and steady burner, with a menacing and ominous tone to it. There’s plenty of fuzz and distortion and the slow pace gives these times to linger in the air, almost in a swampy sort of way. The track has almost a smothering effect to it reflecting its theme of being trapped in a nuclear submarine. Around the halfway mark we get some truly awesome guitar work followed by what very well may be the heaviest segment on the entire album. Luckily for all of you this is the pre-released single from the album so you can check it out at the link below. You can also listen to the full album on Youtube below prior to its release tomorrow.
Overall, this is a truly solid release, I’m glad that they band was able to remaster and re-release this album, because if they hadn’t I would probably never have heard these songs. If you like doom, sludge or stoner metal then I highly suggest checking this one out, you won’t be disappointed. At the very least make sure to check out the single.
Listen to and order the album below: