Review: XII Boar’s Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof

XII Boar make the sort of rock ‘n’ roll-infused groove metal that fuels the greatest parties. The Aldershot threesome know how to have a rollicking good time and it shines throughout their Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP like hell-fire from Satan’s anus. Fans of Motorhead, Black Spiders and The Sword will feel right at home when XII Boar come to town.

The musicianship throughout Split Tongue… is exemplary to say the least. The riffs are huge, down-tuned affairs that anyone who enjoys a good head-bang can appreciate. But this isn’t a meat-headed drudge through a load of unnecessary breakdowns; these riffs are hugely memorable. You’ll have a hard time dislodging the melody to Smokin’ Bones once you’ve heard it.

All this talk of riffs is doing XII Boar a massive disservice because that is not the only string to their bow. In the EP’s biggest highlight, guitarist Tommy Hardrocks rocks a brilliantly technical hook before the song breaks down into a massive slab of doom and a cracking guitar solo to boot. This all happens in the space of one song called Hellspeed Viper. The song is an absolute belter and any fan of heavy music will be missing a future classic if they don’t get their ears around this now.

It’s this variety and wild abandon that make XII Boar such an exhilarating listen. Songs go from violent, hardcore punk riffage to guitar solos that Hendrix would be proud of before throwing a crushing section of sludge into the mix. This is beautifully chaotic stuff indeed.

Special mention has to be given to the production work on Split Tongue… This is an absolutely massive sounding EP with crunchy, bass-driven guitar that’s punctuated by some fantastic drumming by Mr. Dave Wilbraham. XII Boar’s wonderfully exciting blues metal is captured perfectly and the mix allows you to appreciate the skilled craftsmanship on display.

Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof is an essential purchase for any fan of heavy music. XII Boar’s special blend of hard rock, blues and sludge metal makes for a wonderfully engaging listen that’s both masterfully played and stupidly fun to listen to. It’s also brilliant to hear a band clearly enjoying what they do that’s made evident in a sweet little studio out-take hidden right at the end of the EP.

9/10

XII Boar’s Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP is available from the band for £1.50. This purchase also gives you a copy of their debut EP and some stickers. Bargain.

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About Lewis Clark

Long time fan of rock and metal, webmaster and lead writer at UK Scumscene. Occasional co-host of Catbird's Sunday Roasting on TotalRock.com, 12pm to 3pm every Sunday View all posts by Lewis Clark

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