|Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Release length: 28:14
“Cowboy Mayhem” introduces that seventies and eighties era blend of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal nicely, putting a strong focus on the bass guitar to keep the rhythm alive behind the chugging leads and catchy drums. While a fairly laid back performance, there’s a decent edge to the mix as well that reminds the listener why this style thrives in an analog medium. But then there’s the faster paced “Inthered” that, despite some of the colder Black Metal leads in the introduction and chorus, is your traditional Heavy Metal piece that charges along until the pace slows approaching the guitar solo at the three minute mark. After that point the bass kicks really take center stage, pushing the pace right back up again briefly. Much of this song’s presence and influence can also be felt on “Revolving”, though it also has a hint of Judas Priest when not incorporating some grander riffs.
Meanwhile there’s the doom-heavy cuts scattered about. “Outright” creeps along as well, but in a slower Alice Cooper or depressing Black Sabbath piece, but pales in comparison to “Heavy Load”, which is a far more engaging and desolate piece. As if stranded in the middle of a desert, the trudging pace and simplistic chords usher in a brooding heat wave that leaves you marching on in desperate search of some sign of life. Some of the hooks present in the leads only further cement this, adding a hint of unforgiving gloom that weighs heavily on your soul, screaming for you to just lay down and accept your fate.
Sadly, the main issue with this album lies in the audio itself. With Inthered being a self-financed production, one can excuse the somewhat muffled instruments and obviously independent vacant flair that does work in favor of the slower tracks. But odd volume levels in the vocals that sound as if their frontman is either leaning in towards or away from the microphone makes some lines harder to hear over the instruments, while the next few lines are a lot more audible. There’s also the gurgling in the throat on top of the rather restricted range, both of which can get both annoying and boring as you continue through the recording.
Overall, Inthered is a pretty enjoyable album that, other than “Inthered” and “Revolving”, does manage to bring in a decent amount of heaviness to an otherwise laid back Southern Rock and Stoner Rock environment. Of course, this isn’t counting the burdening “Heavy Load”, which is easily the group’s crowning achievement in this effort. The only thing would make this release more enjoyable would have been a little extra range considering the amount of diversity found within the music itself. While this isn’t the most unique release you’ll come across, or even the most memorable, Inthered do accentuate the many positive aspects of each style utilized, even playing on your emotions a bit through the subtle atmospheres certain tracks are able to weave. If you happen to get the chance to check this one out, or even Inthered themselves on stage somewhere, you may find an interesting release to throw on when you just want something to kick back and unwind to.
01. Cowboy Mayhem – 4:52
02. Inthered – 4:24
03. Line by Line – 4:46
04. Heavy Load – 4:32
05. Revolving – 4:31
06. Outright – 5:10
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10