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Evil Blizzard - 'Rotting In The Belly Of The Whale' Album Review


1. All Pigs

2. Bad People

3. Pro Driver

4. Tiny People

5. Clouds

6. Lullaby

7. Rotting In The Belly Of The Whale

8. Darkness

9. Buried Believers

There are certain bands that personify certain things, moods and themes, so much that you can't think of one without the other. Preston's psychedelic progressive punks Evil Blizzard pull from the very nature of chaos. Championed by Mark E Smith in their earlier years (a man who was no stranger to chaos himself), the mask wearing, multiple bassist band distil those moments and channel them into music. It's sprawling but precise, melodic but overwhelming. They're a mess of contradictions that shouldn't work but they do, so damn well. Their fifth long player "Rotting In the Belly of the Whale" has been gestating for some time now. After taking a year off in 2019, the Blizzard were forced to look on as covid placed restrictions on the world. The time also meant some changes within the line up with one bassist (Kav) leaving to be replaced by another (Fleshcrawl) while Filthydirty swapped his four strings for six, allowing the band an opportunity to further expand their sonic assault. Hey, who needs four bassists when you can have three? 'All Pigs', the album opener, sets out the band's manifesto. There is no radical change to their approach, more a refinement. Drummer Side still handles the vocals, a chant of "All pigs with snouts in the trough" reminding us that is you're just part of the machine, that you're an outsider, someone who will have to fight for crumbs. The whole album feels like a commentary of our current social climate. The idea of a trio of bassists sounds like it could be a mush of noise but the Blizzard have honed this to perfection. There are so many sonic textures to swim in. 'Bad People' takes Killing Joke's crunch and uses it to leave you bruised. 'Pro Driver' smirks like the mutated offspring of Jeremy Clarkson and John Lydon, while 'Tiny People' is a frantic punk funk nightmare with more hooks than a whole pier of fishermen. 'Clouds' allows us to have a dub atmospheric wander through a haunted landscape before building to a wash of apocalyptic noise. 'Lullaby' is a soothing croon to the sleeping serial killer in your soul. The album's title track skips along at a good pace with your head bobbing along to the beat, while the closing 'Darkness' offers no respite in the horror. What starts as the echoing chants of cultists crescendos with thumping beats and rhythms. Before you leave the temple, bonus track 'Buried Believers' exhumes feelings of unease and that nagging thought that there is further darkness to come. At times melodic, Evil Blizzard add menace to their songs to remind you that this isn't a party album. Yes, there is a dark, dark sense of humour that's mined throughout the album, but it also keeps feeling that the hand that steers is about to let go of the tiller. The band feel that they are constantly growing and reaching out to find new ways of developing and, with "Rotting In the Belly of the Whale", Evil Blizzard have achieved this. The foundations of their previous sounds are there, but they're now festooned it with sharp edges. Get ready for the chaos!

Review - Scott Hamilton


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