This is Limb's second album, after an untitled debut in 2014. The combination between stoner rock and extreme metal make this one infectious piece of work. Evidently, stoner rock songs have a nice, immersive drive and here that's no different. In fact, the solid production give the whole an brilliant amount of groove, as if Entombed meets Fu Manchu. So yes, even death metal fans can get loose on this stuff and certainly when played live. God, I want to see this live.
The album opens with 'Three Snake Leaves', a short but very strong song. At first you might think this is an intro but when it finally kicks in, it comes with a fierce in-your-face punk attitude. 'Ghost Dance' immediately follows and turns both songs into a perfect two-piece. From there on, we're on a wicked ride, loaded with groovy and solid riffs, lively tempo-changes and a raspy voice that balances on the edge between rock and death metal, hence probably the earlier Entombed reference.
My favorite track is 'Dawn Riders'. Somehow songs with the word 'Rider(s)' in it all have that amazing drive, mostly provided by a fantastic bass guitar riff. I have no idea why that is but I noticed it a lot of times in the past. With that in mind, I think Limb made the perfect 'Riders'-song. It's quite a simple riff but so damn infectious and uplifting. Even the psychedelic passage by the end is mesmerizing. Speaking of 'psychedelic', closer 'Cocytus' seems to be creates in order to ascend the listener to some other dimension. Brilliant song.
'Spoils of a Portrait King' brings the whole even further away from traditional stoner rock and deeper into the world of groove death metal while even coming up with some Yob influenced doom as well. At this point I'm actually wondering what this album would have sounded like when someone else would have produced this. Would it have sounded this massive and crushing or would have sounded more like a Queens Of The Stone Age clone? Fact remains: this is a blast.
So while we're deviating from stoner rock anyway, why not incorporate some influences from bands like Motorhead? 'Down By the Banks' could be a hit by Lemmy and co if Limb didn't beat them to it. Of course, Limb likes to change things once in a while so they add another great psychedelic passage before once again getting their rocks off. And there's even more. 'Mortuary Teeth' suddenly turns Limb into a traditional sludge band. While this is not my favorite song, it definitely is the most intense one of the album.
I can imagine Limb starting to crawl towards the forefront of the present day metal scene with this one, which is quite a surprise when you realise that they have a background in sludge and stoner rock. Limb can easily take on the competition and will probably overcome many of them by sheer heaviness and mighty riffing. That is, if they can pull it off as convincingly on stage than on CD/LP/DD. Somehow, I'm quite certain that they can and I can only hope they will be in a venue near me soon.