|Five Will Die - 'Worth & Soul' (Self Released)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Tuesday, 13 March 2012 05:00|
The Cliffs of Moher are one of most impressive sights in the natural world. For some 16 kilometres, they form the island of Ireland's westernmost defence against the travails of the Atlantic Ocean. At their lowest point, Hag's Head, they tower 390 feet above the waves below: even at that point, they tower above highest of the puny White Cliffs of Dover. Eight kilometres away, they rise to more than 700 feet - that's more than double the height of those wimps on the English south coast... and, even better (from the point of view of this Über geography lesson): they are made up of a mixture of shale and sandstone, so their façade is a very cool shade of BLACK. You can't really get much more metal than that, can you?
About two-and-a-half hours' drive away, across the rugged south-west corner of the isle of Erin, lies the city of Cork - home to a band who generate a sound as impressive, as awe-inspiring, as breath-taking, as dark and as forbidding as standing atop a cliff-face almost five miles north of Hag's Head, in the middle of a winter storm, looking down towards the crashing ocean curlers below and going 'holy fuck'!
Five Will Die play bleak, punishing and highly progressive sludge/doom metal. Andrew Forrestal's guttural scream hits with the force of an Atlantic tsunami on the opening roar of 'Wrecks Of Men' - and that is exactly how this and the follow seven tracks will leave lesser mortals... quivering, shaking, hanging to a palm tree, hoping against hope that the onslaught will pass them by and leave them, wretched but alive, and one of the few to be in such a lucky condition. While Andrew Setzer's drums and Barry Murray's bass pummel the imposing cliff faces, the twin guitars of Daniel Howard and Richard Donovan snap, swirl and whip, periodically crashing into crevices in the defensive seawalls, prising them open and working their way deep inside: the vocal refrain of "bow down" leaves you no choice but to do as you're told.
Even in it's 'lighter' moments, such as in the rolling bass intro to 'Sons Of Horus', , the album is brutally heavy, but it's not all a wall of noise: the proficiency of the two guitar players is more than evident throughout and Murray's bass playing is highly technical, working brilliantly with Setzer, who equally produces some brilliant fills amid pummelling his skins into 40 shades of submission! Tracks such as 'Great Minds And Fools' - something Ireland is renowned for producing in equal quantities - 'Blood And Soil' relatively restrained 'Blame The Martyr' exhibit some truly excellent touches of technically accomplished progressive doom under the layers of sludge.
Perhaps the only complaint can be around Forrestal's vocals: although highly impressive, they are also highly produced, in that they are pre-dominant, and often detract from what is going on behind him - a more sympathetic mix would not have detracted from the finished effect of this highly recommended debut.
Altogether now... "there'll be blackbirds over the black Cliffs of Moher....".
'Worth & Soul' is available to buy from http://www.fivewilldie.com/index.html. If you want to sample before you buy, a free download of 'Great Minds And Fools' is also available.