From Aerosmith, The Cars, Dropkick Murphys to Extreme, Pixies and those blokes that sung ‘More Than a Feeling’, Boston has a rich history of producing rock bands and now we can add Worshipper (Tee Pee Records) to that list. A metal group with a decidedly old school vibe, they won the metal artist of the year award at last year’s Boston Music Awards and have just released their début record Shadow Hymns.
Their sound is an amalgamation of the metal pioneers of the 70s, Black Sabbath, UFO, Judas Priest et al. It has the slow pace and doomy aura of Black Sabbath, with the sludgy Tony Iommi like riffs of ‘Ghost and Breath’ and ‘Darkness’ encapsulating this best. The latter with a vibrant, jam like midsection standing out in between the pounding rock. When it is done right it is thoroughly enjoyable, especially the cut and thrust of ‘Step Behind’ which is reminiscent of early Maiden. The catchiest song here is ‘Place Beyond the Light’, it is a tight, dynamic number that is no stranger to UFO. ‘Another Yesterday’ is a monster, with its monolithic wall of noise and ponderous speed breaking into life toward the end with a sweet twin guitar flourish.
It is a decent album with great levels of musicianship, the band sound like they have really gelled, but it is too derivative – the feeling that you have heard it all before rarely lets up. That nagging sense of familiarity is shaken off though by the likes of ‘Wolf Song’, it feels fresher, more balanced yet still brooding, providing brief let up from the dense wall of vintage riffola. An impressively dense wall of riffs at that, provided by guitarist Alejandro Necochea and guitarist-cum-vocalist John Brookhouse, with bassist Bob Maloney and drummer Dave Jarvis adding to the thrall.
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