Conan
Horseback Battle Hammer


3.5
great

Review

by 76TVs USER (20 Reviews)
July 20th, 2010 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Horseback Battle Hammer, Conan's first, sounds like the immature bastard child of Sunn O))) and Black Sabbath. And there's nothing wrong with that.

“Conan are a Caveman Battle Doom trio from the grim North of England. They summon the heavy riff from the ungodly land and crush the skull of the unbeliever. Waves of sludge and graves of foes shall be the aftermath of their ritual”

Or at least that is what their record company - Aurora Borealis - wants me to believe. When I hear this kind of record company praise or see stickers on cd’s that say: ‘sounds like…’ warning bells chime with hellish fury ‘cause it’s almost never true.

Well… welcome to almost never.

One look at the cover and track listing and you know these guys sound big and evil. The Grim Reaper lurking at the wounded horseman on the cover and track titles like Dying Giant, Sea Lord and Krull seem to prepare you for 'grand and evil tales from yore'.

The album's opening track Horseback Battle Hammer: Krull starts with some feedback and after 20 seconds bursts into a doom feast with Sunn O))) like chords. Low and slow but with drums and a bit more tempo than your usual Sunn O))) song. After 3 minutes the first vocals appear. Ozzy like singing, Minimal, not perfect, but so right for the music. The same 2 or 3 chord progressions keep ringing through the first 8 and a half minutes of the song. And that's exactly how it should be. In the last 30 seconds of the song the tempo picks up and vocals get a bit more roughness in them for the climax of the song.

Satsumo, the album second track clocks in at 5:32 and starts a lot more uptempo then the first track, but after a minute the tempo slows down and the low ringing chords and Ozzy like vocals return. The fast and slow tempo come and go throughout the song until the end, where a bluesy riff comes in and finishes of the song.

The third song, Dying Giant, starts of with 3 minutes of low, loud, ringing chords that sound like the Dying Giant the title refers to. After that, the tempo picks up and the vocals kick in. The rougher 'American Heritage/Baroness-like' screaming returns. But only for a minute after which the song goes back to the loud, low, ringing chords. The tempo picks up again after about 6 minutes and after 7 and a half minutes the Giant finally lays down. This song couldn't have had a more fitting song title.

The last and longest song of the record, Sea Lord (10:51) opens with rolling drums like the storm the Sea Lord summoned is on it's way. You can hear the impending doom of the Sea Lord in the song. A slow tempo, repetitive almost mantra like chord progressions, you can just feel that the Sea Lord is upon us. After 8 minutes when the tempo changes with only 2 BPM, it was enough to make me look at the door because I was sure the Sea Lord was ready to tear it down and take me away to depths and horrors unknown to man kind.

Eventhough this album only has 4 songs and is over after 33 minutes, this is a more than decent first release from Conan. The Sunn O))) reference is based on the overall sound of the record, but I could have named a lot more doom bands as this is just a common Doom sound. Even thought they're certainly not at the level of Sunn O))), fans of Sunn O))), American Heritage, Black Sabbath, Om or A Storm of Light should give this record a spin.



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user ratings (38)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
July 20th 2010


50160 Comments


Everything about this screams METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! . Need to hear, tight work captain.

Relinquished
July 20th 2010


45713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah album is good stuff

Iamthe Nightstars
March 18th 2011


2871 Comments


Uh...this is pretty terrible. The guitars are tuned so low you can barely hear what they're doing. It just sounds like a blob of noise.

Nikkolae
April 22nd 2011


5598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^thats doom metal for you.



satsumo is soooo full of win, the vocals are just amazing in that track but pretty much all of this album is amazing.

Digging: Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come

gabethepiratesquid
November 18th 2011


4522 Comments


This album is okay but it seems to make a gimmick of how low it is. I get that it's doom, which I love, but it seems to just want to advertise "WE TUNE OUR GUITARS FIFTEEN TIMES BELOW DROP C COME LISTEN TO US WE'RE LOW DID WE MENTION WE'RE TUNED LOW?"
a'ight.

ManaYoodSushai
March 12th 2013


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OMG the first track Krull is apocalyptic...

icatchthirtythree
April 21st 2013


998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its a great day to blast this

icatchthirtythree
April 10th 2015


998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So i just found out someone stole a couple thousand dollars from my bank account and I was/am fucking pissed but then I smoked a bowl and put this on really fucking loud and I feel so much better.



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