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So what do we have here? Another Stoner Metal band from the UK. What makes this band standout from the other great Stoner Metal Bands from the UK.
Well I will tell you. Firstly General has a certain Gaz from ace UK Doomsters – Alunah – on guitar. Plus their excellent debut album – Where Are Your Gods Now – has been mastered by the legendary Billy Anderson and recorded by Greg Chandler.
And it sounds amazing from the word go. You can hear every grizzled Stoner Metal riff to perfection.
Now back to the album. Where Are Your Gods Now is a 9 song full throttle 54 minute blast of Stoner Metal
carnage. Taking influence from the classic Stoner Metal bands of Monster Magnet, Clutch, Kyuss and Fu Manchu.
But adding some great Doom/Sludge Metal influences to their music as well. If you were brought on mid 90’s to early 00’s Stoner Metal then your going to love this like I did.
Opening track – Better Dead – shows that General mean business from the offset. Lead superbly by ace vocalist – Graham who has a hint of early Dave Wyndorf about him. The band showcases their own blend of high voltage pummelling riffs.
You know from this song your in for a great ride. OK it might not be breaking any new barriers but when the music sounds this great you just don’t care.
Just strap in and listen to the almighty angry grizzled sounds of General. As they do sound like an old grizzled Army Veteran who has seen it all before. The carnage, the destruction and not wanting to care anymore.
Up next is Make Or Breakdown which sets out the foundations for this great album. A 5 minute blast of machine
gun type Stoner/Sludge Rock riffage that is very hard to ignore. It will have you head-banging or playing air guitar from the very first second.
Now the next song is where the album takes off in a big way. Bullet Train is a 6 minute blast that Monster Magnet would be proud to call their own. This is where the band is at their most ferocious and angriest. As Graham shouts out “I don’t need you anymore”. This is where General come into their own existence and where
you will love this album.
General show with their next song – The 7 minute – Out Of The Sky they can slow things down to a gentler pace which shows the band in a devastating reflective pace. But still as powerful as the other 3 great songs that came before it. This is the band’s “lighter/mobile phone in the air” song that all great bands need to slow things right down before the normal business of pounding heavy riffs carries on as normal.
And carry on they do. Especially with the next track.- Blood Of The Pig – A mean dirty Sludge Rock song that showcases this bands talent once again in writing a hard hitting riff. Led superbly well yet again by Graham. It has a cool psych rock vibe that makes it one of the albums standout tracks.
OK I have reviewed the first 5 songs and that is all the songs I am going to review as I don’t want to spoil it
for you anymore. But believe me the album has 4 more excellent tracks to show why I rate General so highly.
The last song Hydrogen is an 11:42 minute monster of a track that will have you pressing the repeat button over and over again.
Where Are Your Gods Now is truly thunderous affair that should get them noticed in the ever expanding Stoner Metal scene. Like their army rank they have battled through the ranks to proclaim themselves as one of the brightest hopes of UK Stoner Metal.
General might not win any awards for originality but they make up for it with the amount of amazing hard hitting
riffs on show from start to finish.
An excellent album from a great band that I am expecting big things from in the years to come.
You can buy Where Are Your Gods Now from Catacomb Records from all good stockists now.
Coming from Coventry, here's GENERAL, one of UK's hottest new bands and "Where are your Gods Now" is their debut album freshly released on Catacomb Rds...
Recorded by Greg Chandler (Serpentcult, Moss, Alunah) and mastered by Billy Anderson (Acid King, Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Eyehategod), this quintet plays some very interesting Stoner/Heavy Rock that takes influences in Clutch, Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Orange Goblin (not just to cite a more local name...).
I would say that quite logically, especially considering this is a 1st album, you won't find in here many surprises but there's no boring songs at all and if heaviness, catchiness and tightness prevail like here, don't you think
then that 95% of the job is done?!!! Towards those 3 major ingredients, there's a real sense of completion about this debut album and this gives also serious hopes for the future; there's so many many bands playing Stoner nowadays and too often so generic (is John Garcia the most clowned guy on earth ?) that it's yet almost a feat to be able to feel that GENERAL has a potencial that goes way beyond 99% of those bands !!!
The memorable vocals of Graham Stokes are as essential as the catchiness and massive 70's influenced guitar riffs; some doomy or sludgy elements can be introduced here and there, bringing haunting and dirtier hints to an identity that never sound too polished, even in the quieter moments.
I've a preference for three or four tracks that stand out like "Bullet Train", "Monkey City", "Make or Breakdown" but the overall is solid with a constant infusion of straight in your face and groovy riffage that believe me
guarantees real good times of headbanging entertainement !!!
“Where Are Your Gods Now?” by General is tonight’s main topic of discussion. Let’s get started, shall we?
First and foremost, this album is STRAIGHT UP DOOMY STONER SLUDGY PUDGY NOISY FREEFLOWING ELECTRIC GUITARS FORMING ALL WALL OF NOISE RUCKOUS ROCK. If you’re not into that sort of thing, please, feel free to leave the room. However, if you love to groove, than crank up the volume and lets dip into the land of General!
For this album, I’m not going to go to in depth, or worry about analyzing each song track-by-track. I’ve always enjoyed listening to this kind of album with nothing to do but chill and enjoy the dirty, fuzzy tone of the guitars. General has established an immense wall of sound that provides an overall feeling of goodness. They’re a little bit of rock, a little bit of doom, a little bit of sludgy goodness.
Some standout tracks in my mind include “Make Or Breakdown,” “Out of the Sky,” and “Feel the Same.” The album has an incredible tempo that seems to move from beginning to end. Although the guitars’ tones and tunings seem to remain constant and unwavering throughout the recording, General is able to weave a complex weave of energy and emotion in each track. To state that every song sounds the same would either mean that you were flat out not paying attention to the music, or that you picked up the incorrect album. They are strong in what they do, but they do not limit themselves to any one influence of the genre.
I thoroughly enjoyed this album from beginning to end. If there is one thing that I found ultimately interesting
while listening to the album, it was General’s ability to completely surprise me with each track. Their formula is far from simple, but these musicians make it appear as easy as tying their shoes.
All in all, this album kept me banging my head the entire way through. Strangely, I also had a giant smile on my face the entire time. The album is not so much a new take on doom, as it is a doom band that has made a nice little home within the genre. I would imagine that even non-metalheads of the scene would enjoy this disc. I don’t believe it would be a must have to them, but I know that it will definitely get regular spins from me. In fact, this is a definite track to keep around – for any time or activity of the day! I didn’t rank it that high, because frankly, it’s not exactly mind blowing. BUT- with the previous remark stated, I would URGE YOU TO BUY A COPY! This is a great metal album to have in your collection, whether it’s your physical or virtual collection. Land mark album? Not necessarily… Must have? Oh, yes.