Review – Barbarian Fist: The Whorelord Cometh

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  • Bio: "Consisting of equal parts downtuned fuzz guitar, used up riffs, and sexual innuendo, this power trio strives to make music that will make you less inclined to take a bath, more likely to ingest large amounts of beer, as well as instantly grow a magnificent beard(regardless of gender)." - Bandcamp
  • Label: Voidcaller Records
  • Release Date: May 28th, 2015
  • Genre: Doom Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Barbarian Fist is a relatively new act hailing from Oslo, Norway, having come together back in 2012. Outside some live shows, there has been a good deal of silence from this camp until recently. 2013 saw the release of a two song demo, then, earlier this year, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Alexander Mora (Goddess), bassist Per Georg Krokstad, and drummer Petter Haukaas, went into the studio to lay down the four songs that would make up their debut full-length effort, The Whorelord Cometh. Unfortunately, this independently released outing (under the guise of Voidcaller Records) had slipped under the radar for most since its release. But, does it deserve to go unnoticed, or is this actually something fans of the style desperately need to check out?

While The Whorelord Cometh may only be four tracks long, this effort has a good deal of variety across the gritty, hazy musical landscapes. The title track, for example, illustrates that early fantasy movie environment quite well, sending you back to the primitive days with a cloud of slower-paced hooks and hypnotic sludge filled glory scattered about, especially in the main verses that channel a hint of early doom rock ideas fans of Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin will warmly embrace despite the not-so-subtle misogynistic lyrical themes that can appear from time to time. Of course, there’s also the laid back guitar work that shows up once in a while, such as the solo around seven minutes in, not to mention the slow doom metal pacing at the song’s closing.

Meanwhile there’s “Bear Destroyer”, the slowest offering of the release, not to mention the longest at twelve-and-a-half minutes. Unlike the other tracks, this one relies largely on the drums to bulk things up and keep the infectious rhythm going, though the deeper bass presence still remains, even sometimes fighting with that instrument for dominance from time to time. Normally that’s detrimental, but the song has more of a Lair of the Minotaur-esque war vibe to it that the looming darkness of war which clouds the musical plains nicely amplifies along with the louder buzzing distortion of the guitars. It does pass eventually, throwing some groove heavy riffs with a hint of hardcore attitude into the mix prior to, and during, the guitar solo just before the trudging doom metal shift about eight minutes in.

Barbarian Fist

While that song manages to play off an ominous sensaton nicely, “Wargasm” doesn’t fair too well. While it’s still a good song in every right, this one just sounds dark with no reason for it to whatsoever, forsaking the choking haziness the band establishes everywhere else. In fact, it gives the track a crisper output, removing some of the distortion from the guitars for what sounds like something Monster Magnet would release in one of their lighter moods. It’s almost the polar opposite of “No Brakes on the Rape Train” which, despite its name, is actually an instrumental that seems to play off of “The Whorelord Cometh”, right down to the name being part of that song’s lyrics as well. This has more of a southern rock vibe to it, especially at the bluesy start where you find yourself sitting on the porch, watching the wind and sand whip by gently against the hot desert sun. However, the deeper in you get, the more of a progressive trait you’ll pick up on that works alongside the sludgier presence.

The Whorelord Cometh drips with seventies and eighties fantasy atmospheres, capturing the spirit of classic films and stories of the style such as Conan the Barbarian and The Beastmaster‘s manliness and masogynism, both obvious and implied. Barbarian Fist have clearly created something not quite meant for the easily offended, even though there’s little to really get worked up over. If anything, it’s the sort of release that gets your testosterone boiling, speaking to the most primitive side of man in almost every way possible. If you like your doom and stoner metal as heavy as it is gritty and dirty, then The Whorelord Cometh will have you picking up your sword, adorning your favorite loin cloth, and bracing yourself for the impending war against the neighboring tribes.

Barbarian Fist

Digital review copy of this release provided by Voidcaller Records via Against PR.