Well, don’t I like to drown my doom in a deluge of deathly sludge. Cold, icy sludge, lightly blackened and spiced to taste. A tune to shake them old bones and make the walls tremble like the Big One in California.
Well, by the dark waters of Styx, the folks from Oldblood did just that with their newest EP Arms to the Sky. A deliciously nasty piece of downturned metal that steamrolls over you. That they propped their piece up against a backdrop of anything nuclear, explosions and all, strangely adds to this unholy and dreary blackness it portrays.
And not in a good way, just sayin’.
But once the record takes off, you’re immediately immersed in these killer riffs and some outstanding drum work that just comfortably rumble over your stomach. This is a friggin’ ton of power that just airdropped on these earphones. And I sincerely hoped that my snazzy equipment would hold up to the onslaught1).
And there’s not only sludge in there, Oldblood sneakily included many other stylish flavors. From Death Metal, over blackened tremolo fests, true slow-motion doom, to bluesy stoner sounds, you get it all. In fact, a lot of the record kinda oscillates between the sludgy rivers of Heron and the twisted agony of Yanomamö with some furious, nuclear-powered bounce of their own.
But we really got a kick out of that mean riff/solo at the end of Kuebiko2). Some sort of a garbled version of corroded Heavy Metal that could – just could – originate somewhere from Iron Maiden’s backyard. Yet, endowed with the end-game power of one Black Sabbath of 2013. Makes sense, right?
Arms to the Sky is full of those surprises. Like the change to some type of Punk Metal, once Nuclear Blues sheds its cloak of bluesy stoner sludge and moves in for the kill. Or the slight alt/prog flavors that come with hints of ambient Post Metal in Los Alamos, for instance.
In other words, we got ourselves yet another nerdy ambush of red-hot, rough-hewn, angry, and totally tasty metal. Because this ain’t no mainstream piece, nor did Oldblood attempt to create one. And, how on earth they will pack all that onto a meaner and more serious full-length piece I cannot fathom. We’ll wait and see, I guess.
In the meantime, sound to action stations, power up those shields, and enjoy the metallic joys Arms to the Sky will lustily throw at ye.
You won’t regret it, we promise.
Label: Self-Released | Web: Facebook
Release Date: 4 December 2020