Metal Review – Pillbuster: Brothel EP

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Metal Review – Pillbuster: Brothel EP
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Pillbuster: Brothel
Stoner Rock
Stonerkill Records
August 19th, 2014
Release length: 16:29
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The hot bed for talent that is Virginia has given us plenty of solid bands as far back as you can think. It’s a state known for a strong Metal scene, not to mention a booming Hardcore presence, Punk, plenty of Rock groups, and even one of the biggest pervaiers of the Southern Rock style. This is where we find Pillbuster, a four-piece Stoner Rock group that seems to feed off their current state of residency, all the while feeding on each member’s own hometown roots that range from that very location to Detroit, New York, and Colorado. 2013 saw the release of their debut full-legth album throuh Stonerkill Records, the label responsible for issuing their brand new four song EP, Brothel. With Dick Hodgin (COC, Lynyrd Skynyrd) working with the group at Osceola Studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, one can’t help but immediately become anxious to hear what this group has in store for listeners. But does this new recording really stand out in the crowd, or is this one the state itself might rather forget exists?

Guitarist Joe Festa has stated Dick Hodgin “captured that raw sound and ran with it” when it came to these songs, and right away you can feel it this time around. “Prophet Kill” is simply infectious with a crunchy groove behind the riffs and louder drums. It sounds like the cymbals do have a bit of compression to them that seems limited to this song in particular, but the enthusiastic guitars, dominant bass, and rougher vocals really make that a moot point as the song grabs your head and immediately bangs it along for you. “Brothel” mixes that enthusiasm with some slower paced material from time to time. While not quite as engaging, the just over six-and-a-half minute offering still has plenty of solid riffs that make it hard not to at least bob your head along to. What sticks out the most here is the corrosive slower material, acting more like a downer to the kind of upbeat and enthusiastic mid-tempo passages, right down to a slower, depressing passage past four minutes in that, with the help of the solid guitar solo, feels like a negative reflection upon yourself during a drug riddled state of mind you just don’t want to break free of, even when it slowly fades away to wrap the release up.

But what remains in between those two are some special cuts themselves. “A Parting Gift” carries a hint of Pantera level aggression can be felt in the vocals and deeper music that flows smoothly with a sense of inebriated control. “Hateburn” literally feels like a second part of that track. While not quite as powerful, this track pushes the sense of an altered state a little more with the feeling of trying to cope with the fallout of “A Parting Gift.” It isn’t at all hostile, instead coming off a lot more relaxing to point where, with the right setting, vice or mood, it’s almost like getting lost in a trance.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Pillbuster yet, then now is the perfect time with Brothel. The raw emotion captured in the studio and superb final touches from Kitchen Masting manage to capture everything the Stoner Rock genre is about. Between hints of aggression, commanding authority, and general altered mental states that even sober can leave you with your yin and yang in balance, it’s easy to see why this group has earned so much praise from all walks of life. With their next album due out some time in 2015, Brothel stands up as a solid offering to tide existing fans over until the next dose, while introducing new comers to a smoothly flowing experience that is a fantastic crash course of Pillbuster and what’s to come.

01. Prophet Kill – 2:47
02. A Parting Gift – 4:13
03. Hateburn – 2:57
04. Brothel – 6:32
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Pillbuster
Pillbuster

Digital review copy of this release provided by Stonerkill Records via Adrenaline PR.