Acid Deathtrip / Hangman's Chair - Split 12"

by Warwick Stubbs Rating:6.5 Release Date:2014-11-20

There’s some pretty cool riffage on Acid Deathtrip's first track, ‘End of the Line’. It's momentarily reminiscent of Black Sabbath married to the hard drive of an Iron Maiden/Kyuss crossover (that’s pretty much just the faster tempos of Welcome to Sky Valley), but for the most part it staggers about with a slow, sludge-metal grind.

The vocals recall those of Dunedin heavy-rock band Made in China, characteristically gravelly but maintaining strength in higher registers. Something is being sung about the walk of shame - it bears his name. OK. Would sure like to know why...

Second song ‘The Fallen’ draws inspiration from the world of doom and The Melvins, with big distortion and slow tempos, although for a solid two minutes, the vocals sound like a spoken-word sample before the tempo picks up with a ‘Children of the Grave’ groove and proper singing. It all seems pretty standard, but not unlikably so.

Hangman’s Chair are a completely different beast. The first song (3rd on the EP) opens with a long intro of doom-laden clean guitar before the distortion kicks in near the two-minute-mark. It continues to use this loud/soft approach, drawing the listener in with mumblings and another stoner-rock vocal (think ex-Kyuss’ John Garcia). When the song picks up (slightly) near the end, it feels like a worthwhile wait.

‘Gallows Dance’, the fourth and final song on the split, repeats a similar pattern, but this time with a lot less gloom, a lot less meandering and even some acoustic guitar. This time it is a full three minutes before the distortion hits your ears. The vocals, while previously being drenched in distant reverb, add a nice harmony before letting the song wind down of its own accord.

Quite a promising start for Hangman’s Chair, this deserves a few worthy listens before either bands release a full-length.

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