Blood Eagle


If you're going to listen to "Blood Eagle" by the UK's dungeon masters of seismic […]
By H.P. Buttcraft
February 27, 2014
Conan - Blood Eagle album cover

If you're going to listen to "Blood Eagle" by the UK's dungeon masters of seismic domain, CONAN, you're going to need to bring a weapon. Actually, make it two. You're going to need one to hold in your other hand. When you are up against CONAN, you're not going to just sit there and ignore it, you're going to be charging in as soon as "Crown of Talons" begins, swinging with everything you got.

You sort of have to because you are up against a giant force known as CONAN. Formed out of the "Strawberry Fields" of Liverpool, England, CONAN has been pumping out jams for the good part of the last decade. You may remember their last full length "Monnos" that was unleashed back in 2012 or their "Horseback Battle Hammer" EP which has accumulated some notoriety amongst Stoner Metal fans over the years. It was like if you took SLEEP and ELECTRIC WIZARD's style and tone and pushed everything up to 11, you would have CONAN. And just like the Robert E. Howard fictional character, the music this band creates was forged from eras of battle and a lust for conquest.

The fuzz on the bass and the slumberous stomps of the guitar chords are massive. CONAN has built created a large tower of sound you can only look up at in your own insignificance. CONAN borrows some characteristics of other Sludge Metal and Funeral Doom Metal bands. Like on the song "Total Conquest", you can hear short little interjections reminiscent of MASTODON. And the beat on "Horns For Teeth" has the same bludgeoning force as any given song from COFFINS and THE MELVINS.

If there is an Achilles' heal to this group, I think it would be the limits that are built up around the whole concept behind Doom Metal. Do not underestimate bands like CONAN but do you see any Doom Metal like this getting any better? Your amplifiers and effects pedals can only give you so much gain before you start having to think outside of the thunderous rattle created by letting a drop a chord ring out for six seconds. I think for any kind of improvement to this sort of genre, the artists would have to dabble in other musical genres to add more of a progression to the music. MASTODON have been able to get away with this ever since "Leviathan" came out (remember that split they did with Feist?) but I am not sure if that kind of evolution would benefit a band like CONAN. With the creative goals CONAN has, I think it limits them from achieving dominance and appeal outside of Metal.

Like a swaying skyscraper, CONAN's "Blood Eagle" will collapse on you if you leave it alone for too long. Once it starts, you become trapped under the music's density. It's three quarters of an hour of Stoner Doom that are as impenetrable and over-encumbering as a set of dragon-scale armor.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Blood Eagle" Track-listing:

1. Crown of Talons
2. Total Conquest
3. Foehammer
4. Gravity Chasm
5. Horns For Teeth
6. Altar of Grief

Conan Lineup:

Phil Coumbe - Bass, Vocals
Paul O'Neill - Drums
Jon Davis - Guitar / Vocals

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