A spicy blend of Proto-Metal and old-school Hard Rock!
The pace at which amazing independent label Heavy Psych Sounds release records, being most of them truly awesome, is too fast for us to follow them properly. Nonetheless, most of them are worth a listen for every stoner-head or doomster worth its salt. This is the case of High Reeper sophomore album, not very imaginatively but pretty accurately called “Higher Reeper”.
Sometimes you don’t need to be the smartest kid in the class, nor the captain of the basketball team, nor the leader of the cheerleaders. Sometimes all you need is a leather jacket, a pack of cigarettes and a pair of sunglasses to show who rules in high school. High Reeper are exactly those guys.
How is the sound ?
Hard, raw, slow rock and roll. A bit less hooligan than their fellows of R.I.P., a bit lighter than Forming the Void, without the occult air of Dead Witches or Salem’s Pot. In a scene so saturated and full of amazing acts, High Reeper seem to run the risk of ending up at no man’s land. Or they will, if they wouldn’t have a zero-fucks attitude that makes them such a badass rock and roll band.
“Eternal Leviathan” begins hostilities like an electric shock. Not really eternal, but certainly a beast of a song, which lays the foundation of the overall record sound. “Bring the Dead” is undoubtedly the best track in this record. Not especially different to the rest of them, but it is clearly the most inspired song of this collection. A purely doom rhythmic section and a catchier chorus a make this one truly stand out. On the other hand, the ominous “Apocalypse Hymn” reminds a bit of Kadavar slow ones, like “Reich der Traume” or “A l’Ombre du Temps”, adding a necessary bit of variety to the mix.
This whole record nods to classic heavy metal (Judas Priest worshiping) and biker hard rock, both in aesthetics, themes and sound, gritty and analogically recorded. Maybe that’s why, even if it will not become an instant classic, it surely is welcome with open arms by any fan of these sounds. If, by the end of the last “Barbarian” song, you have not gone fully Easy Rider mode, please visit the doctor. You probably have either no heart or no eardrums.
Why is this album worth listening ?
- Captious question: why the hell it is NOT? As you would expect, these five Philadelphia guys are not inventing the wheel, but they certainly know their stuff.
- It has HPS quality guarantee.
In what situation you should listen to this album ?
Perfect soundtrack for a night at the pub, plenty of booze and smoke around.
Whenever your body demands its daily dose of simple and sweet hardest rock.
Something particular to note ?
Check out the whole Heavy Psych Sounds and their American sibling label, Riding Easy Records, catalogue for many more doomy, fuzzy records like this one, including High Reeper’s amazing debut!
Bring the Dead, Apocalypse Hymn, Obsidian Peaks.
For Fans Of
Black Sabbath, The Obsessed, The Shrine, Duel, Wo Fat, Judas Priest.
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