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DEAD SOUTHERN BISHOP (Hymns Of Malice And Discontent) MCD-R

DEAD SOUTHERN BISHOP introduce themselves as the heaviest band from southern Georgia and bring along their 5 song EP 'Hymns Of Malice And Discontent' to prove that bold statement. They waste no time and hit it off with 'Last Rites' and a chugging mid-tempo riff. The three B's (Blake, Ben and Billy) reduce their approach to their blend of sludge to the absolute basics - drum grooves, nasty guitar riffs und vocals that remind me of Dixie Dave in a bad mood singing IRON MONKEY songs. You won’t find bluesy melodies in here as, for example, EYEHATEGOD like to incorporate into their tunes. Neither do these guys care for guitar solos or a bassist, so six-stringer Ben Miss covers the low frequencies with his instrument as well. He does this with evil, relentless riffage.

In 'Bitter' the stomping rhythms of drummer Billy Weills are countered by fast-paced riffing, which shows a weakness in the very bass-heavy guitar sound: At faster tempos the bass frequencies almost drown out the distortion and the attack of the guitar, so it sounds a little bit too muddy, but that might just be a problem of the mix, as the drums do their best to bring additional aggressiveness by the frequent use of double-bass patterns.

Sometimes vocalist Blake Peacock gets a little bit too much into his hateful preaching and loses track of the rhythms laid down by his bandmates, but that’s just a minor drawback. DEAD SOUTHERN BISHOP have some nasty but even catchy riffs (like in 'Bound & Tied'), backed up by tasty drumming, so if you like your sludge mean and nihilistic and with a non-stop riff assault, this might definitely be something for you. I prefer a little less swampy sound and a guitar solo here and there, but once again, that’s just me!

(Steve Albino)