Hail! Hornet – Disperse the Curse

They Say :- HAIL!HORNET rises up from the dirty southern underground with its long-awaited new album ‘Disperse the Curse’. Over two years in the making, ‘Disperse the Curse’ is a relentless metallic onslaught laden with burly, locomotive riffs and raw and ragged vocals that spit paeans of misgiving and disgust. The quartet  is the bloodline of the prime movers of misanthropic Southern metal, and Disperse the Curse proves that metal can be dangerous once again.

We Say :- If ever there was a word to strike fear into the heart of music fans everywhere it’s “supergroup”. The images it conjures vacillate between massive egos battling for supremacy over largely substandard material that generally isn’t as good as their original bands. Fortunately for us, the same accusation cannot be levelled at Hail! Hornet and their latest release, Disperse the Curse for it is, ladies and gentlemen, a little wonder. Hail! Hornet has a pedigree to be proud (Sourvein, Lunch, Alabama Thunderpussy to name but three underground bands of note) of and, in parallel, to envy. It’s good news that they now have a record to match such a pedigree.

Opening track Shoot the Pigs sets the tone brilliantly. Whilst many sludge/stoner records are content to live in that strange land between mid-tempo and “we cannot be arsed”, Hail! Hornet arrive on the scene with a sense of rage and anger; it’s as if the band have realised that mediocrity and creative paucity will no longer suffice: they are here to put things right. And do they ever.

No sooner do we draw breath than we are aurally assaulted by the crunchy riffing and guttural howling that rips through Gifted Horse. This is a band in a hurry- it’s like a bank heist, but only in fast forward. Title track, Disperse the Curse has a riff so dirty and sludgy it could have been dragged from the bed of the Mississippi while Beast of Bourbon (yes, we saw what you did there gentlemen) is so filthy you want to send it for a well deserved bath.

One of the things that strikes you about this record is just how effortless it all is. Huge riffs are thrown around like aural confetti; there’s a determined aesthetic running right through the album that is both reverential to its sludge/southern/doom roots but has a fresh and relentless edge to it that draws you back in time and again. Suicide Belt sounds like a Mastodon off cut, one where Brann Dailor and Brent Hinds have gone even more doolally than normal. yeah, that kind of loopy. Scars has the kind of riff that air guitaring was invented for, overlayed with some simple but brutal vocals before we are indulged with the spectacular eight minutes of Blacked Out in Broad Daylight. This is one of those tracks that you know, from the off, is going to build and build. And so it proves: its a slow burning cacophony of a track that bleeds the rest of the album out into its dying embers. Yes, you’ve got it: it’s tremendous.

Disperse the Curse was apparently two years in the making: please don’t leave it so long next time, chaps. This is a sludge album par excellence. You will love it. That’s a godammn order.