Earth Messiah – Ouroboros

Little is known of Gothenburg trio Earth Messiah, save for well-received 2017 demo Nocturnal Thoughtgrinder (self-release). Debut album Ouroboros (Argonauta Records) should boost that reputation with a healthy, lively supply of Stoner Blues that really slicks the grooves.

The title track opens up proceedings, gradually easing in from a whispering zephyr, the lead and riff teasing an explosion that never comes with a jaunty gambol through the chords. The ensuing ‘Escape From Reality’ has a much dirtier fuzz about it, Matthias Helgesson’s Zodiac Mindwarp-style growl dripping engine oil, the chords and drums setting it alight with a mid-track frenzy.

‘Attention’ is a more brooding beast, splintering lead chords descending into a barrelling riff which electrifies as it rolls, spits and starts. Patrik Orrmén’s uncomplicated yet steady drums really drive the pace, pulling the reins on the riff with perfect timing, and the minimalist production gives them a delightful tin-pot feel in the somewhat prosaic yet bulldozing Rock n’ Roll of ‘Trouble Child’ and the more urgent ‘In The Darkness’.

Though Helgesson’s larynx can be a wearing factor, his rhythm and infrequent leadplay is explosive. The early and mid-section jangles and solo of the lengthier ‘I Am’ give the song a real character, seceding to a pulverising riff which perfectly complements the drums and fizzing bass of Soil’s Marcus Hedkvist. The speeding rhythms of ‘Queen Of The Land Of Tomorrow’ induce a tearing riff that’s an air guitarist’s joy and gives way to the deep groove of ‘Always Remember’, the chops of which would take a head clean off.

Closer ‘Father Of Fire’ is a sinister, speedy furrow with swells of low-end resonance that swirl around the mind, especially at the finale when a wall of sound breathes in and out with a claustrophobic force, and in doing so adding real pathos to what was previously a fun-lover’s paradise.

Despite some limitations Ouroboros is a bloody enjoyable and occasionally profound romp through good old-fashioned, hard-edged Heavy Rock, and will induce some pleasing spasms in even the stiffest of necks.

6 / 10