Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Volume IV - Long In The Tooth



Ever since I first heard Volume IV's self-titled EP, which I love, midway through 2013 and at the same time found out they were recording their debut album, I've anxiously awaited it's arrival. And people, the wait is over! 'Long In The Tooth' is here and it's been well worth this agonizingly slow countdown for the release date. Well, not really but when you know a great album is in the making, time drags on at a snail's pace. So read on and indulge an old man as he babbles on like a fool. There's a reason for it so continue, you don't have to be scared. On the contrary my friends...prepare yourself to be blown to kingdom come and I promise you'll love it!

The core of their music from last year's EP is still there. They still go for heaviness and filth filled with groove and that awesome I-don't-give-a-fuck Motörhead attitude that I absolutely love. Opener 'Looking Low For A High' is a prime example of this. The sheer weight of it it leaves me breathless as Volume IV's journey down humanity's dark alleys commences. And it continues on 'Utero/Long In The Tooth'. After the beautiful acoustic instrumental 'Utero' the band plants a collective fist in my face as the title track has me down for the count within five seconds.

Fret not though waveriders, this is not a repetition of last year's release, on the contrary Volume IV change things up making this release stand out excellently. 'Blackwater' brings down the tempo slightly and the verses reminds me of a gutter-bound The Beatles playing 'Come Together' as their ship goes down. Fantastic people, simply fantastic! Another new feature to Volume IV's sound is the southern darkness. It permeates the entire album but check out especially 'Save Your Servants', 'Cabal' and 'Save Your Prayers' and you know what I am talking about. These three tracks are slower with the latter two being basically acoustic but the darkness they bring is bone-chilling while giving the listeners room to breathe and they elevate 'Long In The Tooth' to a league of amazing bands where few ever go.

Ending their debut wax the way they started it, 'Locust Have No King' is a facemelter sounding like the bastard child of Thin Lizzy and Motörhead. Full of the former's guitar harmonies and the latter's riffs this is the way to end an amazing record. Start off heavy and mix it up in between and go out in jawlocking fashion, that's the way to do it. So what you have in your hands is a true gem that will grow continuously with each listen and that's no mean feat, I'm telling you. It takes a lot of know-how and talent to pull that off and Volume IV has that in abundance.

You can't ask for more from a band releasing their first album, in fact you couldn't have asked for more if this was their fifteenth release! The ten songs on offer are placed in the perfect playing order which creates a such a natural flow and cohesion to the music. It's like they've recorded a novel containing ten separate short stories that are tied together by the red line that is tales of seedy, filthy and opressed characters. They've also done something I'm a strong advocate for...less is more. A total playing time of just over 34 minutes might seem short but hell no! Personally that's what I prefer. Keep short and sweet and excellent instead of cramming the album full of filler stuff. No Volume IV are spot on and therefore creates a desires for more, and yes I keep 'Long In The Tooth' on constant replay. I simply can not stop playing it and the urge to hear more music from them grows stronger with spin.

All I can say is...get your hands on this album and let these Georgians annihilate you. It doesn't get much better than this, you hear!

- Swedebeast



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