Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: Ogre - The Last Neanderthal

United States based trio Ogre shook the very foundation of the doom scene for ten years, from 1999 until 2009, over the course of three hard hitting releases until their unfortunate split in 2012. Luckily for fanatics of the genre, the band reformed in 2013 and are making a strong comeback with their fourth full-length release, The Last Neanderthal. Get your bongs ready, it's time to dig into the latest stoner tunes of Ogre.

Genre: Doom Metal, Hard Rock
Release Date: March 8th, 2014
  1. Shadow Earth
  2. Nine Princes in Amber
  3. Bad Trip
  4. Son of Sisyphus
  5. Soulless Woman (Ogre Cover)
  6. Warpath
  7. White Plume Mountain
  8. The Hermit
Total Playtime: 47 minutes, 43 seconds




Rating: 9.0/10




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United States based trio Ogre shook the very foundation of the doom scene for ten years, from 1999 until 2009, over the course of three hard hitting releases until their unfortunate split in 2012. Luckily for fanatics of the genre, the band reformed in 2013 and are making a strong comeback with their fourth full-length release, The Last Neanderthal. Get your bongs ready, it's time to dig into the latest stoner tunes of Ogre.

The first things that will strike the audience immediately are how unique and distinct the clean vocals are, as well as the heavy rocking riffs that pervade the entirety of "Nine Princes in Amber". This is just the start of the immersive, frothy stoner metal trip that The Last Neanderthal gives the listener. The production and quality of the album is perfect, each instrument has their home that they settle into cozily and keep their place throughout the content all the while the crystal clear quality allows the fuzz distortion and hollow bass to be unhindered.

Despite the fact that most of the songs are exceedingly long, this feature doesn't hinder the success of the album. The deluge of tempo fluctuations and composition changes that take place are more than capable of seducing the listener's attention for the entirety of the content. "The Hermit" is by far the longest, yet most relaxed, song as it clocks in at around eleven minutes in length; it's differentiated sound gives a breather to the crushing distortion of the rest of the content and the bass carries this track with hollow lines that are plucked on the D and G strings of the instrument while solos scatter themselves like meteorites. Opposingly, "Bad Trip" is a slow doom anthem that gives way to the enchanting crunchy tone of the guitar with oppressive descending riff structures. The tones and distortion found on the guitar is similar to that of fellow band Bongzilla, although not quite as thick.


Overall the pace of The Last Neanderthal is relaxed, but there are energetic bursts that present themselves at key moments to liven up the experience, such as the entirety of "Nine Princes in Amber" with its grooving mid-tempo anthems, memorable riffs and drum patterns. As well as the bar-band Ogre cover of "Soulless Woman" that sounds oddly out of place in the content, defined by a pop-rock feel, but will still be enjoyable to a select few. The loud bass presence is key in tethering the guitar to the drums with unshakable foundation structures that lead riff changes. Accenting the background are well placed hi-hats, snares and bass kicks from the drums, which rarely ever exert a pace that's above a crawl, even when the other instruments are working at a faster speed; this element keeps the relaxed feeling to the material. The lead guitar work is dispersed in abundance over every track, the only exception being in the instrumental "White Plume Mountain" which laden with bongo drums and soft picking along with more obscure instruments; this track has a primitive vibe to it that pushes the neanderthal idea behind the album. "Warpath" showcases the most profound solos, and it's great to hear some great wah-wah pedal effects since they've seemingly become a lost art in metal at this point, and each excursion is more kick ass than the last.

The Last Neanderthal is one of the more original pieces of stoner metal that has come to the surface within the past few years. Each track offers up its own unique experience in some defined way as outlined in the review, however mere words cannot do justice to the elaborate songwriting, passion and thought that has gone into the creation of this material. A definite must hear during the time when hazy fog is billowing out of your basement, throw this release on your must hear, or smoke-to, list.

Digital Download Provided by: Clawhammer PR & Earsplit PR

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