Dunsmuir builds a powerhouse of metal muscle with members of Clutch, Black Sabbath, Fu Manhu and The Company Band
If you could build the super group of super groups, who would be in it? Dunsmuir, with their new self titled album, comes pretty damn close to being the best project I have heard to date. Neil Fallon (Clutch), Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell), Brad Davis (Fu Manchu) and Dave Bone (The Company Band) come together as Dunsmuir, a project in the works since 2013. As the press release states, “The Dunsmuir LP is a concept album. It tells the tale of the various fates met by the survivors of a 19th century ship wreck. What had been intended as a voyage of scientific discovery quickly devolves into a struggle to survive the natural world, and the supernatural.”
A steely guitar riff opens up “Hung On The Rocks” and the adventure begins with a vibe similar to Dio era Sabbath. The question of “when you’re hung on the rocks do you stand by your Captain?” leaves you hooked wondering what will ultimately happen, listening to narrative after narrative. “Our Only Master” slays with the guitar riffs and along with “The Bats (Are Hungry Tonight)”, “Deceiver” and “…and Madness” provide a strong New Wave Of British Heavy Metal feel with their raw guitar sounds and heavy drumming.
“What Manner Of Bliss” is stoner sludge as it just oozes out of the speakers. “Church Of The Tooth” follows suit with the doom laden sludge, but has this incredibly catchy guitar riff that is going to have me anxiously awaiting some tabliture to learn it myself.
“Orb Of Empire” is perhaps my favorite on the album. This tracks sounds like Clutch at their absolute hard rocking best. While some may be turned off by how closely this sounds to Clutch, they are one of my favorite bands, so I loved everything about it. Hard rocking riffs and a powerful, consistent smashing of the drum kit push this track along with the hookiness of the chorus that deserves your head banging. “The Gate” and “Crawling Chaos” finish up the album on a more up-tempo angrier feel than the earlier tracks.
I have always found Fallon to be an excellent storyteller and this album is no let down. While you do get the feel of Clutch from Neil’s unmistakable voice, this album is harder, edgier that a typical Clutch outing. With dirty sounding guitars grooves and a thunderous rhythm section, this album provides a lot of crunch, but still puts off a late seventies into early eighties retro feel. This is an rock album that rocks, and rocks fucking hard!