We’ve finally arrived at Limb’s first long player and it’s been a hell of ride. The desert sludgesters have delivered a demo (confusingly under the same name as this album), a 7” EP and a magnificent split with fellow sludgemeisters Gurt and now the band are putting their statement of intent out there with this their début self-titled album.
Limb stick pretty close to their tried and tested formula of crushing grooves, slow tempos and throaty roaring. Only two of the tracks appearing on this record have reared their head in the past with ‘Daemoness’ featuring on their first release in a much dirtier guise and ‘Gift of the Sun’ also getting a re-recording after it’s appearance on the 7” of the same name. Both songs sound as enormous as ever with ‘Daemoness’ sounding absolutely gigantic thanks to the brilliant production values that weren’t a privilege back when Limb started doing their thing.
As per usual, Limb’s axeman Pat Pask and bassist Sam Cooper absolutely steal the show thanks to their undeniable talent for writing a ball-busting riff. Every song that appears on Limb’s self-titled LP boasts a groove that’ll have you stomping around the house like a Viking stalking his next meal.
It’s also great to hear vocalist Rob Hoey move away from his lower-pitched yell to a full-on scream in songs like ‘Eternal Psalm Pt II’. It seems odd that we should be praising a man for simply screaming in a slightly different fashion, but when you hear the song kick into gear with Hoey’s vocals it sounds absolutely electric.
However, the real brilliance of Limb’s song-writing is the progressive nature of the music. Sludge metal doesn’t really sit well with progressive song structures but Limb rarely revisit a melody in any of their songs which keeps you gripped throughout the entire record. This is an extremely clever approach on Limb’s part because the consistent use of slow tempos means that the record could have become extremely tiresome if it wasn’t for the smart song-writing.
The only drawback comes in the form of drummer Jodie Wyatt. There’s nothing wrong with Wyatt’s simplistic yet hard-hitting style, but what is going on with that ride cymbal? I know this is a petty little niggle but I couldn’t help but notice that Wyatt favours the ride over a crash which brings an almost muted cymbal hit into the mix and she’s uses it a lot. Again, I realise this is an almost pathetic complaint but I can’t help but wonder what this record would’ve sounded like if Wyatt favoured the crash and gave the songs some satisfying impact.
Regardless of this small complaint, Limb’s self-titled début album is a beast of record that’s stuffed with Earth-moving riffs and enough groove to bring a legion of followers to the band’s cause. Limb have delivered the record they were always threatening to and it’s a welcome addition to any sludge fan’s collection.
Limb’s self-titled début album is out now through New Heavy Sounds and available to buy on CD and vinyl from Cargo Records.