Clamfight – I Vs. the Glacier

clamfight-i-vs-the-glacier

By Gruesome Greg

The band’s name sounds kinda dirty, but methinks that’s just how they get their kicks in New Jersey. The sophomore effort from these Garden State sludgesters seems to have a more mythological bent than their 2010 debut, which included tunes entitled “Fuck Bulldozers” and “Swordfishing is an Ancient and Noble Art,” but despite the new veneer and its pretty packaging (those scantily-clad Viking chicks’ll get yer rocks off!), the same thick, syrupy, resin-stained core remains, and that’s a goooood thing.

This starts off as fairly standard sludge, slow, slightly-Sabbathian riffs, angry shouted vocals, et al. But things take an unexpected turn, as the slow rumble of “The Eagle” builds up into a rolling dam of distortion around the three-quarter mark. “Shadow Line” is somewhat faster, slightly reminiscent of Black Tusk or Bison B.C., maybe with a little Kylesa thrown in for good measure. Meanwhile, the title track gives off a slightly more stoner vibe, perhaps more in line with Lo-Pan, a big favourite of the band’s label The Maple Forum.

Some solid slo-mo riffs announce the entrance of “River of Ice,” a tune that flows like blood through a blocked artery, grinding, pulsing, stop-start action that’s sure to get the head nodding. Some tasty riffing reminiscent of its namesake band—on a heavy dose of cough syrup, mind you—punctuates the aptly-named “Mountain,” before a tasty instrumental number brings us to the epic conclusion. “Stealing the Ghost Horse” is almost seven minutes worth of heavy riffing and head-tripping, spinning a tale that might be more impactful if I had the lyrics in front of me, but a pretty solid number nevertheless.

Overall, this is a pretty solid sludge record. Nothing that I haven’t really heard before, but these guys do it fairly well.

(The Maple Forum)

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.