A Perfect Circle/Soundgarden style riff opens up the first track “Omen” as Calum’s Ozzy meets Layne Staley style vocals open up and carry us along on top of the grunge laden riff. The guitar groove is immense on this track carrying you along with killer riffs from Andy & Rob with bass pounding away from Eion along with John bringing up the rear on the drums. This is a huge leap forward from the boys, this is a complete package of a track, a stunning start.
The drums followed by the pounding riffage of the guitars carries us into “Crucified”, it’s the guitars and the rhythm of the track that carries you along in an almost hypnotic trance along with Calum’s voice which has matured with a solid strong resonance like early Ozzy. The constant groove of this track like the first track has the head and the feet going with its strong constant vibe, “the beat goes on” as they say.
With “Piety” we launch into almost a Queens of the Stone Age opening stunner of a riff before the old school vocals come in, the guitars again come alive before the vocals mix in with the riffs to carry us the end of the track with some stunning intricate bass & drum work and intense vocals.
We launch into Nirvana/Soundgarden territory now as the opening riff from “Whence” flows us into Calum again with those smooth early Sabbath style vocals as the guitars wrap around him. The production on these tracks is tremendous with such a full sound on the instruments and vocals.
The boys are on fire as that crunching riffage appears again as we meet Icarus before evolving again into 70s Sabbath plus another heavy nod to Queens of the Stone Age with that heavy bass, drums, riffs & vocals truly stunning ending to another fantastic track.
We get all “Treacherous” now as we really hit that “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” stride with the drums and huge guitar chugging riff as Calum goes all old school Ozzy on us makes this my favourite track off the album. The drums are huge on this, I think John must be on steroids here, just fabulous, the guitars again just take the track along with that pounding bass from Eoin, stunning track.
The Sabbath style riff again brings us into “Bound” with John doing his best to emulate Bill Ward’s trademark sound, the haunting vocals take you back to a time when Black Sabbath scared your parents. This doom laden track pounds along with a groove that I have been missing big time, it’s taken a bunch of lads from Orkney to bring that seminal old school sound back while keeping it sounding fresh at the same time, fabulous.
A shorter two minute track now with “Be” almost a dirge in its approach with simple quiet instruments to let Calum’s vocals carry the song along, a very strong emotive track.
The crunching guitars bring us into “Begotten” a slow pounding track with more haunting vocals and a bass laden riff undertone before the twin guitars lift us up along with the pounding drums and bass. I love this bass & drum led track with Calum’s doom laden vocals carried along with the punchy guitars, a fabulous end to possibly my album of the year as it will take something stunning to catch this one.
A complex second album from the Northern boys, there are hints of many bands mentioned above which make this a truly stunning second album. This is an album that many an older well established band would be proud to put out, it’s production is superb with a rich full on sound which brings this album to life. There is a richness to this album with everything from the band brought well to the front in a full frontal assault on the senses, this is a case of all killer no filler. I have seen the boys live a number of times now and am truly excited to hear this live hopefully this year if possible. I believe this album will take the boys to the next level and deservedly so, pick up a copy of the album, switch the phone off, put the headphones on, turn the lights out and immerse your senses in a masterpiece of sound.
Header image by Gary Cooper Photography
Electric Mother II is out now