By Gruesome Greg
Despite the most pretentious band bio I’ve seen in a little while, I decided to check out NYC’s God Ox. These guys have clearly invested in a good dictionary and/or thesaurus, with song titles such as “Benevolent Severity,” “Pestilent Dogmata” and “The Ontological Argument for the Existence of the Lord God.” Nevertheless, they show plenty of promise with this six-song EP.
Opening track “Benevolent Severity” breaks up its EHG-meets-Vitus sludge (with a singer alternating between harsh and clean vocals) with a slide guitar solo, and a fleeting NWOBHM double lead. Score one for originality.
“Eriugena”(Eri-what!?) opens with a crushing sludge riff, which gives way to a bluesy guitar and Chris Cornell vocal. The singer sounds a little outta place till the blackened screams come in around 3:30, preceding a mellow solo/jam session—but the band simply crushes.
The aforementioned “Ontological Argument” features grunts and rapid-fire vocals over downtuned death metal riffage. Not quite as silly as Six Feet Under, but close, at least until they slow things down at the two-minute mark.
While most up-and-coming sludge bands are content to imitate those who have come before, God Ox throws a diverse set of influences into the mix, and while I’m not always enamoured with their vocal sound, I can vouch for at least four outta the six songs on this demo.