By: Luther Von Fuzz
I had the chance to sit down and listen to the new release "Wolves" by the Tucson Sludge/Doom band Godhunter. "Wolves" is an elevated saga of fire-eating doom, Philistine in its riffs, and merciless to your ears with astonishing heaviness. The sophomore album is a stalwart follow-up to the "Teargas EP." The album has great "flow" and bang-up production.
The album breaks in on the first track (Stop being) Sheep, with its ghostly guitars, grinding away like a sword at sharpening stone. Great album opener! Godhunter does a real good job at taking their time with this track just letting it percolate like a building volcano until it explodes into the second track, Wolves of the North. I hear a lot of Black Tusk in this album. Guitarist David Rodgers brings the heavy on Wolves to the North similar to Andrew Fidler does on Black Tusk's track Redline.
My favorite thing about this album is the deep fuzzy guitars. Yes, I am a gear nerd. Luckily I was fortunate to have David share his gear breakdown. So here it is F.Y.A. (For.Your.Ass) David uses a custom 100 watt WHITE running through a custom built 260 watt Emperor cabinet made out of Marine Birch with four handwired Weber 65s. Passed down like the "Spear of Destiny," traveling through the hands of its dominate victors, the WHITE Amp has moved from owner to owner. It was originally built for Mike Scheidt of Yob, Then sold to Just Godfrey of The Abominable Iron Sloth, then sold it to David, But I digress...
In Red State/Black Crusade, the album really gets into the "meat and potatoes" of the album. Charlie Touseull's vocals rip through this track like a mega-ton bomb clearing whats left after the brutal waves of E.M.P-esq heavy guitars. This track is groovin'!
Powerbelly takes it's inspiration from a great friend of the band, Texan Joe Dudley McCoy. The 7:40 min Powerbelly is my favorite track on the album with slow sludgy two min intro dragging along like a snake belly on the brutal Sonoran desert. The pulsing background keys and big riffs make this track.
(Dead hooker by the side of) The Road is an epic album closer! 7:44 minutes of some of the finest doom around. Local blues boozer Sean Raines, of Tucson's We Killed The Union, lends his gritty, bluesy vocals on this track, and on other parts of the album. Sean's vocals can also be heard sharing the lead on Red State/Black Crusade, and the chorus of Powerbelly. I love the breakdown at the 3:33 mark, with the droning guitars and Sean chanting the "I just wanna know you're dead" doom mantra. The lead at 5:52 is perfect, nothing flashy, but sends the track over the top.
To sum it up, this is a great sophomore album by the Tucson natives. If you're in need of some heavy "Wolves" is for you. Currently the band is selling their album digitally at godhunter.bandcamp.com but is also available at all the online retailers; cdbaby.com, Itunes, Rhapsody and Amazon. The band will be doing numerous dates throughout the Southwest in early 2012, so don't miss your chance to catch this rising force in the Southwestern scene.
Final Score: 8/10