4 years into Gurt’s existence and after the release of a string of EPs and splits, the band are finally ready to deliver their début album Horrendosaurus and like the repulsive dinosaur that features on the album’s cover this is a monolithic slab of sludge metal that doesn’t disappoint.
Gurt’s strengths have always lied with their uncanny ability to write a massive groove and Horrendosaurus is stuffed to the brim with them. Highlights include Sludge Puppies which bursts through the doors with a fast-paced riff that soon progresses into a massive doom-laden melody that will soundtrack any upcoming apocalypse you’d like to attend.
Special mention also has to be given to the album’s title track Horrendosaurus which earns its place as the title track simply by being an unnaturally enormous song that isn’t short on riffs. Switching between doom and a desert-rock groove throughout the entirety of the track makes for a brilliant dynamic that is hugely satisfying to bang your head to.
Also returning is Gareth Kelly’s wonderfully daft lyrics which have resulted in song titles like Gardening with Cthulu and Eves Droppings. Kelly is always a joy to listen to because his throaty belch is as metal as they come and he always sounds like he’s enjoying every second of his band’s music.
The only thing working against Gurt is that their song-writing is a bit formulaic. Every song is built around a lurching yet catchy groove that never really lets up to allow for something else to happen. Winston begins with a thunderous bass-line that marks one of the very few moments of variety on Horrendosaurus but it doesn’t take long before the riffs drop and we’re back into sludge territory. Regardless, this is a minor complaint because even though Gurt never really explore any sounds outside their comfort zone they always pull another smashing riff from their sleeve. If anything you can always rely on the band for consistency.
Horrendosaurus can only be described as a huge record. It’s massive. It really is very big. Gurt have filled this album with as many riffs as they can muster and it makes for a hugely enjoyable listening experience. Fans of sludge and doom metal are in for one of the most reliably fun albums of the year and Gurt have delivered a full-length that highlights everything that has made them worthy of your attention for these past 4 years.
Gurt’s Horrendosaurus is out now and can be purchased via this link.