From the start, you know that you’re in for: thumping madness; as if a force has been unleashed from the underbelly of our mortal realm. Shit must be crazy in Portland to bring this type of doom and gloom out of Red Fang. Whales and Leeches unleashes some bad juju, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Chapter 1: The Drums.
This album has the most dynamic drumming. Super high energy and lightning quick, twinned with deep grooves that shake the goosebumps loose. From the intricacy that is in “Failure,” to the beater that is “No Hope,” there is no way to get bored of this album if you have any sense of rhythm.
*THIS JUST IN* (as one of my trademark segues). Upon researching this band (to credit John Sherman, who is not only an amazing drummer, but a damned charismatic fellow as well), I have discovered a counterpart for Red Fang: Black Tusk. I know, right? They are, not surprisingly, equally doomy and fucking awesome. The two bands toured Europe together.
So, yeah… drums. Take a listen to Whales and Leeches in as many ways and as many times as possible. Then thank yourself. Then thank me for the advice. Then thank Red Fang. Thanks, Red Fang.
The guitars play antithesis to the drums in that they seem more loose and… not sloppy, but… but… buttery. There. I said it. These guitars sound buttery, and dammit I like it like that. “Voices of The Dead” is disorienting and nauseating in all the right places.
You may have noticed that there is no real format in this review. That’s because I like listening to the album I’m reviewing while I review it. I cannot hold a thought down with the drone of unison bass/guitar riffs. The imagery of the oceans rising, killing everything. So. Friggen. Wicked.
This review needs order like beer companies need light beers. You can figure out what I mean by that if you take a look at the video for the single “Blood Like Cream.”
I could write so much about every song, but I don’t want to be too long in the tooth, and delay you leaving your home to go to a record store and pick this shit up. I want to accelerate the process so you can hear who sings guest vocals on track 7.
If grooving stoner metal that shakes your spine sounds like a good thing, you’d be hard pressed to find something better than Red Fang. You could let me know. That would be rad. I won’t hold my breath.
If I could just give you one more tidbit of advice. Don’t just chunder this thing up. Lay off the shuffle and do this thing right, and you will be thrice lain… or something. JUST NO SHUFFLE. Whales and Leeches gets a perfect 10 for blowing my mind. Now go drink a beer and sit your earballs down for a groove.
Written by Jacques Asselin