The third album from Maryland heavy rockers Foghound comes out under a cloud of tragedy, less than a year after their bass player, Rev. Jim Forrester, was senselessly murdered on the streets of Baltimore. In that light, one might look for some lyrical tributes on here – say, “Death Will Tremble” or “Gone Up in Smoke” – but the album had been tracked before his tragic passing, although the band did add an acoustic guitar instrumental that Jim had played as a demo (“AVE!”) to the final tracklist.
In any case, this album is sure to serve as Forrester’s final legacy, particularly with “Keep on Shoveling,” which includes a spoken word passage from him. And they do just that, banging out 11 tracks of gritty, dirty fuzz rock over 43 minutes. The title track kicks things off with a heavy, sombre, bluesy riff and airy vocal leading into a pretty heavy stoner rock groove before the chorus kicks in with a hardcore stomp, complete with gang vocals. You can definitely nod your head to this one.
“Known Wolves” is a great, driving heavy rock number with a catchy gang chorus a la Red Fang. These folks definitely know how to write a hook, and pair it with a powerful riff. “Filthy” gets my head nodding from the get-go (it even has a cowbell!), while “Cut the Cord” combines a rumbling, groovy verse with a faster, punkier, Red Fang refrain.
“In Due Time,” the first “I can’t believe it’s not a tribute song,” also has some faster, chugging riffs, but still squarely falls within the stoner rock realm, especially with it the slow breakdown that first comes in just shy of the two-minute mark. On that note, “Gone Up in Smoke” reminds me of vintage COC with some of its slithering grooves, while “Death Will Tremble” ends the album on a more mellow, subdued note, albeit not without a blazing guitar lick or two.
The Forrester intro interlude “AVE!” is accented by some haunting Hammond organ, leading us into “Keep on Shoveling,” which might have the heaviest set of riffs on here. The sounds of perseverance in heavy rock form. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, maaaan…
Something extra from Foghound:
“In advance of the upcoming Foghound album, Awaken to Destroy — due out November 23 — we’re stoked to present you with this special non-album track to get you ready for the album and its own beer via Oliver Brewing!!!”