Monday 26 February 2018

Review: Blunt - Broken Down

Broken Down, a new album by De Kalb, Illinois sludge/stoner metal four-piece Blunt, takes the discipline of sun-baked, night-frozen downtuned pummel extremely seriously. The bands who represent their most evident inspirations — Eyehategod, Grief, Iron Monkey — all flirted with near-parodic destructiveness in their time, too, and still stand as three of the tallest pillars of this subgenre.

You could posit that Blunt release serve as a stopgap, in this respect, and it wouldn’t be totally untrue, but it’d also be selling them rudely short. This album isn’t going to be a gamechanger for the sludge genre, but ‘progress’ is a mis-sewn fit for something this base and primal. Six songs in almost 38 minutes, Broken Down is in pretty much the same sonic flophouse than the group predecessors. Maybe the average pace might be a little more energetic, with “Let the Dead Bury the Dead” attaining a doomy gallop. 

If you check for sludge metal, this album ought to tick most of the standard boxes. It almost certainly wouldn’t have been harmed by another ten minutes’ worth of material – at least – but what is here creaks with the weight of monster riffs and actual individual personality. One that might have been rendered bitter and misanthropic by years of ravage, but serves as a mask for a bunch of utterly decent punky metal dudes.

Get Broken Down from Bandcamp.

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