Double-CD package: CD one is live, CD two is demos. All live tracks were recorded from the desk at various locations by a combination of Dave Lamb (The Garage) and Dave Stokes (Ozzfest and the University of Manchester); additional crowd recordings were taken by John Nixon.
All demo tracks were recorded at Premier Studios, Corby between 1999 and 2001. All were either produced and engineered by Iain Wetherall or Co-produced by Iain Wetherall and Raging Speedhorn.
What is rather nice about the live CD from UK sludgecore metallers Raging Speedhorn, is the consistency of recording from the sound-desk. This could easily be a recording of one single concert, rather than pieced together from three different gigs across three different years.
What I have really enjoyed about this disc is that it contains only songs that I’ve never heard before, having earlier this year reviewed Before The Sea Was Built (2007).
Raging Speedhorn seem to have a good live sound, a good rapport with the crowd (to the point that they have to repeatedly tell the crowd to keep off the stage), and a great energy. You get the sense that this is a good band to watch.
The music is suitably sludgy, a bit shouty but solid. Definitely something I would willingly return to.
And now for many of these songs again (plus a handful more) but in demo form…
Many band demos sound very rough, recorded on whatever the modern equivalent of a Tascam 4-track portastudio is, but these tracks are well balanced and could very well be released without too many people not realising that they’re not the finished articles… or have I been listening to too much 1980s hardcore today?
The songs have energy and drive. Even tracks like “Hit Single/Thumper” (track 4) which didn’t grab me immediately have a fun hook that had me smiling and bobbing my head by two minutes’ in. Good stuff.
I rather enjoyed “Down” (track 7) which opens with something not too far removed from Metallica’s “The Thing That Cannot Be” but transitions into a very sludgy groove that crawls beneath a barked vocal. As does “Death row dogs” (track 9)… in fact, come to think of it, that description doesn’t really narrow down any of the songs. This is a resounding sludgecore-fest!
Live albums can often be hit or miss affairs; albums of songs demos even more so. But this release really nails it in both camps.
The live songs have drive and an energy that I’m sure give you a good sense of what Speedhorn’s concerts are like. All good stuff, good stuff.
Finally, if you’re curious to see the cover before it was given a negative treatment, here you go:
Review score: 75%