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EARTHRIDE (Something Wicked) 2LP/CD

Now you probably wonder why there's another review of the third EARTHRIDE album in Cosmic Lava, but the answer is simple: here, we finally have the 2011 release via Doomentia Records, whereas the first edition has been released thru EARTHRIDE's own record label Earth Brain. Well, actually Thorsten's(aka Reverend Odd) review was to the point, but I like to put in my two cents. I think it is not necessary to introduce EARTHRIDE, especially if you love doom that is made in Maryland, USA. With a powerful, crunchy, ear-shattering mix, and a blues-influenced sound coming straight from the darkest, smelliest depths of some hellish swamp bog, 'Something Wicked' takes you in with its raw, head-pounding grooves from the moment the album starts.

This is a bludgeoning record which is overflowing with thick, hefty, Sabbathian riffs, solos, and groove-ridden rhythms. Sherman's rough vocal style sounds perfect against the dark, muscular tracks, helping to give this album a characteristic feel. It's good to hear that he has given up on imitating Anselmo, though sometimes his influence still shines through. A pity, because Sherman has proved in the past that he has his own style. This is evidenced by all three Wretched albums as well as by the self-titled EARTHRIDE demo. But whatever the number, Sherman is doing a very good job on 'Something Wicked' as well as the other three guys.

One of the best things about this album is how it bleeds with soul and feeling. It's serious without being melodramatic, fun without being careless, and crushing without being overbearing. In addition, there's always a good sense for variation and melodies. Like on previous releases, 'Something Wicked' is packed with strong hooks and memorable riffs, which leads to the fact that it's not easy to lift the arm of your record player (or to press the stop button of your CD player). I think it was a cool idea to re-record the fantastic biker anthem 'Grip The Wheel' and it was a great idea to invite Scott 'Wino' Weinrich, who's doing background vocals as well as additional guitar work on 'Supernatural Illusion'. So, if you're a fan of EARTHRIDE then it's about time to buy a copy of this marvellous album. It is an immensely satisfying and honest record.