Hyborian – Hyborian Vol. I

Hyborian, out of Kansas City, MO, don’t sound like a new band needing more polish on their debut release, Hyborian Vol. I. I was given this album with the description of “Mastodon worship” and that isn’t that far off base. The band cite High on Fire and Crowbar as influences and you can definitely hear the former in the guitar tones. The reality, however, is this band lies somewhere in the very narrow valley of the above influences particularly on opening track, “As Above, So Below”. They are able to harness that same thrash-y malevolence and driving power as they raise the curtain on this effort.
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High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis

I swear, by Matt Pike's sweaty shirtless body, that High On Fire get better with every album. Whilst there's nothing that glaringly new about their sound, you'd be hard pushed to argue that it wasn't at least distinct and over the course of six studio albums the band has refined their mix of high octane riffs, pummeling percussion and Motorhead sensibilities to a sharpened point. De Vermis Mysteriis sees the band attempting to top their incredibly well received Snakes For The Divine with a concept album about Jesus' time travelling twin brother Liao who goes on to to learn about the destructive influence his brother had on mankind before jumping off the deep end and getting involved in witch burning and baby sacrifice. Yeah.