Like fellow hardcore veterans Coalesce recently, Keelhaul return here after years of radio silence. And just like those other comeback kids… ahem… men, the Ohio bruisers are back with a vengeance. From jagged start to apocalyptic finish see, ‘Triumphant Return…’ feels mathy and technical yet bloodthirsty and brutish at the same time, the sound of a band who really know how to play their instruments but choose to smash them to splinters instead. And yes this is pretty typical for Keelhaul but there are new flavours of rage here, more grit, more curmudgeonly hate, and a layer of grimy sludge that’s inches thicker than what they’ve conjured up previously.
‘High Seas Viking Eulogy’ sounds like Steve Albini got hold of Mastodon, ‘The Subtle Sound…’ is anything but, making like Will Haven forgetting to write songs and instead recording their musical bad moods, and as well as having a great title ‘Everything’s A Napkin’ is a fine example of tense-and-release rock, what the edge of your seat was made for. And if this all sounds too much then it probably is, it probably won’t sell many copies or get Keelhaul any new fans, but they definitely couldn’t care less. Another great return from another band back from the dead. Now if somebody can just pass the memo on to Botch.
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