We don’t make it too much of a secret here at CackBlabbath that we are big fans of the tectonic scale riffers, Conan. So ‘Revengeance’ is very much in the “Hotly Anticipated” review pile for 2016. It’s the third album from Conan and they have tweaked the odd thing here and there for this new release. But they’re sounding as thunderous as ever.
The band line-up has changed since the recording of ‘Blood Eagle’ with Chris Fielding and Rich Lewis joining Jon to make up one of the noisiest trios out there. Jon also told us recently that the writing process was more of a band activity this time.
Whilst ‘Revengeance’ instantly sounds like a Conan record to anyone who has heard the band before, there are some subtle progressions. The main thing is that the sound is a little warmer than before and the musical structure is a little less rigid. The tracks feel more like songs than before. They are still long repetitive slogs through doomy soundscapes but there seems to be a little more direction to proceedings. ‘Revengeance’ is a little more refined and a little more rounded at the edges.
Perhaps that is over-analysing as the main thing evident on ‘Revengeance’ is that Conan are still industrial scale in the heaviness department. Your ear wax will be loosened and things will slowly work their way off your shelves when you start blasting this one out.
The epic commanding vocal lines still ring out over the soundtrack like a doom worship call. The riffs resonate with a viscous but glorious buzz and Rich introduces himself with an almighty clatter on tracks such a ‘Revengeance’ and the brilliantly christened ‘Thunderhoof’. All the vital ingredients to a Conan album are here ringing loud and clear and sounding better than ever.
That is really all you need to know. Conan have pulled it out the bag again with another clutch of great songs. More fuel for their already commanding live show and yet another reason to love ’em.
It’s really hard to stand out in certain genres at the moment. Doom would definitely fall into that category. There are countless down-tuned bearded doom crews out there and as much as we love all things doom, stoner and sludge; it can sometimes be a bit like groundhog day with new doom records.
We can’t quite put our finger on why… but Conan do stick out from the pack. On the face of it they don’t do too much differently, although they do manage to carve out a distinctive sound compared to most. They haven’t got any massive stage shows or gimmicks to set them apart although they do have a little bit of a mysterious side to them. So, all you can really conclude is that Conan stand out from the pack simply because they are better than the pack.
‘Revengeance’ is awesome and Conan are the best. Simple.