Wednesday, July 9, 2008

GRAND HALLS 1

This is the beginning of what's going to be a periodic thing on the 'Realm in which I visit, re-visit, whatever you want to call it...a classic gem from the past. It could be because it's been re-released currently, as in this first case, or just because I feel like it. :-) In any case, read on!

BLOOD FARMERS – “Blood Farmers” CD ‘08/’95 (Leaf Hound/Hellhound, US) – There was a guy in the doom metal scene that I used to trade cassettes with back in the day. His name was Nigel Fellers and, unfortunately, he’s no longer with us. He was a very cool guy, knew as much if not more about doom, heavy ‘70’s rock and such than anyone I ever knew and I got a wealth of great recordings thanks to him, not to mention had some very nice and educational conversations. The upshot of all of this, however, is the fact that despite all the cool things I got and gleaned from Nigel, nothing ever bettered the TDK-D90 (remember them?!) that arrived in the mail one day from that familiar address in Annandale VA. The tape in question featured the debut release from a New York band called BLOOD FARMERS. I played that tape a lot, at home, in the car, wherever and for some stupid reason, never ordered a copy of the disc per se’ from Hellhound. Of course, the label went out of business, copies dried up but I still always had that tape. Now some 13 years later, Japanese label Leaf Hound (Ogre, Revelation, etc.) have seen fit to release this monster, fresh with a 2008 restoration and re-mastering from vocalist Eli Brown and the results are in my hands. My first reaction to this is complete and utter joy at actually having this on an official circular audio medium. My second reaction is, again complete and utter joy, this time at how damn great “Blood Farmers” sounds. By now, the dear reader is more than likely pulling his/her hair out saying “Ray, enough! What is this album like?” This album is like being on the set of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” only it’s real and not a movie. Yeah, it’s like being there, in that atmosphere and at the same time listening to both the first Saint Vitus album and Hairy Chapter’s “Can’t Get Through” at the same time, with Paul Chain sitting at the mixing desk. What makes special records are often a multitude of things that conspire to raise them to that level and the BLOODFARMERs’ album is no exception. You’ve got Eli’s haunting, pained vocals that speak of a man in desperation. You’ve got the guitar of Dave Depraved that, at once, will crush like lead and yet paint with so much improvisational emotion as to be another voice. And, of course, you have songs. Where to start? How about the end of “Albino,” where after section after section of raw brutality, a melody emerges in the last minute or two that is soul-searing. You’ve got the Iommi-like mellow guitar pieces of “Theme” and “After The Harvest” that work so well in dynamic with thundering, epic texts on the order of “Y.G.B.” and “I Drink Your Blood.” Then you’ve got the nearly indescribable art of “Twisted Brain (Part 2)” which opens with an-extended melodic guitar section calling to mind Hendrix’s best before morphing into a plundering doom opus that rivals anything ever done. When you add to that the nearly 10 minute bonus doom-jam that fits like a glove at the disc’s conclusion, you couldn’t ask for any more. Unless, of course, it’s the gorgeous re-mastering job, expanding the cavernous production and making the whole thing sound like it was recorded in some demonic cathedral. Bottom line? Anyone who thinks they know “doom” and doesn’t have this in their collection is sadly mistaken and may end up like the girl in the insert picture. Essential. 10.0
www.leafhound.com
For BLOOD FARMERS information: bloodfarmers@earthlink.net

2 comments:

Matthew said...

Great review, but no props for the bass player?
-Matt

raysrealm said...

Oh, sorry man. Nothing intentional, believe me. Maybe it was supposed to be subliminal. :-)