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Dirt Forge : Soothsayer

NOLA-inspired Danes Dirt Forge deliver an assured and stomping debut full-length.

Dirt Forge kind of sound like they...er...sound, if you get me. As the name suggests. Heavy as a hammer strike to the anvil and dirty like the greasy machines the music conjures up. High on Fire meets Crowbar you might say, with a sprinkling of some thrashier Death n' Roll. File them next to your XII Boar releases, perhaps.

Beginning with the 'post-metallic' swamp of 'Rust & Copper', Dirt Forge set out a confident and attractive stall sure to attract even the most jaded of naysayers. Quality of craftmanship shines alongside technique and a use of dynamics which gives Dirt Forge a multi-faceted appeal. Throw in the production values of the seemingly ubiquitous Chris Fielding...et voilà. On the subject of which, 'Soothsayer' is a very mature sounding record overall. Take, for example, the vocals. They sound like the rantings of a large, self assured hirsute hominid with many years experience of bourbon-fueled visits to a smokey stage rather than some nervy, bedroom-bound Bandcamp botherer trying their best to sound angry. Cracking stuff.

If you're a fan of those "sustained note of feedback with bass and drum rumble" style intros, prior to all hell breaking loose, then look no further than 'Bring Me Good Noose', a song which sounds like something Eyehategod would conjure up if they cleaned their act up a little bit. (Not that I'd want them to). Dirt Forge, like the aforementioned Crowbar, are wont to get out of second and third gear from time to time, and the d-beat romp of 'Intet Tabt, Intet Hændt' coupled with the thrashier sides of 'Stone' are deft examples of a band equally at home in varied tempos. 'Stone' might be my album pick, its catchy hooks coming straight from the book of Nola supergroups.

Finishing up are three tracks making up the 'Soothsayer' triptych, which gives the record a hint of the 'progressive' to add to it's assorted stylings, and it is here that I find the sole morsel of criticism I feel warrants a mention. As competent as Dirt Forge are, they don't seem to have quite found themselves yet, in amongst their obvious but rather too many influences. This is nitpicking though, really, so don't be too discouraged. If you enjoyed the fantastic debut by Conjurer from last year then grab a copy of this.

From the press release then, Dirt Forge's plan appears straightforward and simple. Morbid humour onstage, playing shows and pushing limits. Whilst I'm not convinced they push too many limits musically, a delivery as good as this suggests they really don't need to. Dirt Forge will clean your clock regardless.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Rust & Copper
2. Fortress Burning
3. Bring Me Good Noose
4. Intet Tabt, Intet Hændt
5. Stone
6. Soothsayer I: The Blind
7. Soothsayer II: Die Waiting
8. Soothsayer III: For Our End

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes

Visit the Dirt Forge bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-05-21 by Matt Halsey
Rotten Copper
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