Review – Musket Hawk / Sunburster: Split 7″

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Unholy Anarchy Records
  • Release Date: May 22nd, 2015
  • Genre: Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Unholy Anarchy Records came into existence sometime in 2013, and since then has issued its share of seven-inch EPs and splits. This happens to be the story this time when the label brought sludge maestros Musket Hawk and Sunburster together for the latter of those two options. The former, hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, is currently signed to the label it seems, while the latter, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is currently on the Indian Teeth Records roster. But does this coupling lead to an entertaining release, or is this essentially nothing more than two songs better left as b-sides from two young groups that still need time to grow?

For the most part, both entries have a similar mixture of crisp music with enough of an analog bite. In the case of “Devil’s Cadillac” by Musket Hawk, however, it’s the volume of the bass and moody atmospheres that pull you in. The depressive introduction with cleaner chords builds nicely to a sombre post-metal influenced world, trudging along with a burden set by the aforementioned instrument and thud of the bass kicks. The mixture of vocals that range from raspy to guttural, not to mention a combination of the two that sound great when the pace dies down again by the halfway point, manage to usher in a bit of hardore attitude to the slow paced filthiness.

“Prize Pig” by Sunburster, however, carries itself with the intentions of a d.i.y. release, but a bit too crisp to fit the bill. The impact, however, is still on par. The deeper bass with bouts of incredibly low tuned guitars and sandpaper-like shouting that grates on your ear drums carries a hint of filth layered across the infectious and hazy stoner metal riffs. As for the performance, it’s like all the stress melting away as the impact of that first drag finally settles into your body, acting as a means to allow frustrations to vent before relaxing you into an altered state by two-and-a-half minutes in.

This Split release with Musket Hawk and Sunburster is a fairly good one for fans of sludge and stoner metal. Is it one of the best around? No, but it’s still pretty damn good. Both songs are executed well enough that you’ll come back for additional fixes further down the line, not to mention even check out the two band’s other releases, many of which displayed prominently on their respective Bandcamp accounts. Of course, if this sampler of potential is any sign of what to expect in the future, both bands will only continue to grow and impress.

Digital review copy of this release provided by Stereokiller.com.