DESERT STORM (Forked Tongues) CD
On the basis of the band name, one might think that UK's DESERT STORM are huge Kyuss fans, but this is not the case at all. Instead, 'Forked Tongues' is an undisguised homage to Clutch and Black Label Society. I sometimes get the impression that DESERT STORM do not yet know precisely where they are going. The first two songs 'Cosmic Drips' and 'Ol' Town' could be unreleased leftovers from Clutch's 'Pure Rock Fury', whereas 'South We Roll' or 'The Jackal' cannot hide the band's preference for the totally overrated Black Label Society. This being so, what causes particular surprise is that DESERT STORM have no compunction about changing their entire sound. All of a sudden the guitars are extremely downtuned and especially vocalist Matt Ryan is just like a chameleon.
When I listened to this album for the first time I thought that they have two different vocalists but it's the same guy. Or to be more precisely it could be a split album with two different bands. The only thing that never changes is the groove and DESERT STORM offer plenty of it. Despite the fact that there is no own identity, I must admit that 'Forked Tongues' is entertaining at some places. This is especially due to the good chemistry within the band. There are also a few nice riffs and there are indeed a very few songs as, for example, 'The Void' where they demonstrate a little creativity. This also aplies to the acoustic track 'Connected' which surprises with a slight folk-blues influence. Vocalist Matt Ryan also uses his third singing voice which is clear and free of any gruffness. Another good track is 'Pocketwatch' where they are mixing acoustic with electric guitars. Here again, DESERT STORM are committed to the delta blues, and this time, Matt Ryan reminds me a little of Howlin' Wolf or Captain Beefheart. Altogether, I have mixed feelings about 'Forged Tongues' just because it's an incoherent album. It would be desirable for DESERT STORM to emerge from the shadows of their role models.