Red Fang
Murder the Mountains


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
April 12th, 2011 | 47 replies | 26,334 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Portland's princes of beer and metal return to stake their claim for the throne with their sophomore effort...

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

If you've had any exposure to Red Fang prior to right now, it's likely been via the alcohol soaked, LARP-ing shenanigans of the band's video for Prehistoric Dog, the lead single (and album highlight) of their 2009 Sargent House debut. The pounding riffs, silly costumes, ridiculous mountains of empty beer cans, and infectious shouts of "time to kiss your ass goodbye" served as a perfect snapshot of everything that Red Fang set out to accomplish with their debut, and what Red Fang might have lacked in terms of production values with its rather thin guitar tones and shoddy drum production, it more than made up for with an ample amount of attitude. Now two years removed from their self titled debut, and with a new home at Relapse Records, Red Fang's sophomore release Murder the Mountains takes a bit more of an outwardly serious approach by dialing back the visible humor a bit and amping up the ballsiness by a factor of about 10.

The most noticeable difference that the jump to Relapse has brought about in Red Fang's sound comes in terms of production, as every aspect of the bands sound has been considerably beefed up and streamlined in comparison with their debut, but thankfully, Red Fang has managed to embrace their newfound resources without losing any of their charm or quirky sensibilities. The songwriting is also much stronger this time around, as Murder the Mountains finds Red Fang routinely hitting the sweet spot between catchy and heavy, playing up both of these aspects to the fullest extent. The opening 1, 2 punch of the pounding heaviness of Malverde and the head-nodding, quirky catchiness of Wires serve as a perfect example of just that. Malverde opens up the album with a slew of trudging, heavy riffs and guitarist Bryan Giles' repeated menacing growls of "That's the trick/I can't believe that you're falling for it.". Wires, on the other hand, returns to an area closer to their debut with bassist Aaron Beam crooning over a barrage of catchy, heavy metal riffery. Wires also serves as the first re-introduction of the quirky humor found on their debut, as a xylophone screeches into the bridge to the plink away at the main guitar melody before the song explodes into one of the most ass-kicking riffs on the entire album.

Other tracks like Hank is Dead or album closer Human Heard stick with the same kind of straightforward structure and catchy, head-banging motifs as the first half of Wires, while tracks like the six and a half minute Throw Up veer sharply in the direction of balls to the wall, chugging heaviness. This contrast of relatively straightforward catchiness versus trudging heaviness is aided greatly by the different vocal approaches of Giles and Beam, as Giles' gruff, menacing shouts lend themselves to the albums heavier bits, and Beam's interesting JD Cronise (The Sword) meets Jarred Warren (Big Business) style of crooning fit in perfectly with the catchier sections.

As charming and fun as Red Fang's debut was, their jump to Relapse has clearly given them the resources they needed to make the album that they're truly capable of making. Both uncompromisingly heavy and gloriously infectious, Murder the Mountains stands to be one the strongest releases in the realm of heavy music this year, and it seems that Red Fang has nowhere to go from here but up.



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user ratings (192)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
0vrot
April 12th 2011



459 Comments


Sweet

marksellsuswallets
April 12th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album kicks so much ass. Was streaming on NPR but I'm pretty certain it's been taken down now that the album is properly out.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2011



8318 Comments


Sounds really really good, definitely going to look into this. Great review btw man.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2011



17197 Comments


still digging the dirty side of things, i see.

marksellsuswallets
April 12th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe I'm just too "southern" for my own good...

Wizard
April 12th 2011



19210 Comments


I wish this was good but I guess I felt like the album was more of hangover than a good buzz hahahahaha.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

marksellsuswallets
April 12th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

While I disagree with your statement, that was a masterful pun.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2011



7315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

It's an improvement over their quite lacklustre debut. The album could definitely use some variety
though. Number Thirteen is excellent, a standout track for sure.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

marksellsuswallets
April 13th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would say that between tracks like Wires, Throw Up, and The Undertow there's plenty of variety, but maybe that's just me.

FenixZero
April 14th 2011



382 Comments


So if I like Baroness I like this?

afghanwhigger
April 14th 2011



67 Comments


I like this better than the first one... great review too.

WatchItExplode
April 14th 2011



3203 Comments


Sounds legit will be checking this out if I can track it down...

Slobo
April 14th 2011



140 Comments


What the hell is a bear can?

marksellsuswallets
April 14th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ugh. Where the eff did the edit review button go?

Oh, if you enjoy the more riffy/heavy, less proggy side of Baroness you'll probably enjoy this.

Cosmiche
April 14th 2011



330 Comments


Just heard prehistoric dog and loved it. The video only made it better. Gonna check out the new album now.

and good review man

south_of_heaven 11
April 14th 2011



5433 Comments


I'll take a listen or two to this album, I remember the video for Prehistoric Dog being pretty funny, though I only watched it briefly once.

Phideaux
April 14th 2011



1653 Comments


Sounds pretty cool. Good review.

Bleekill
April 14th 2011



832 Comments


I've seen these guys a few times live, I need to check this out

Avirov
April 14th 2011



1206 Comments


Now two years removed form their self titled debut


First paragraph. Awesome review. If I were you I would put the song titles in quotes, but that's just
personal taste.

marksellsuswallets
April 15th 2011



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Typos fixd



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