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The good thing about Oakland's HAZZARD'S CURE is that no-one can claim they are in anyway generic or predictable. In fact, their interpretation of sludge is highly enjoyable and energetic. This is primarily related to the fact that HAZZARD'S CURE have significantly more to offer than your average sludge band. Stop! One moment please, I'm not sure if it's right to stuck these cats in the sludge corner. The first track 'Psilocybin' displays similarities to EyeHateGod, but 'Prayer Of The Hunted' sounds more like High On Fire while 'Tossed And Dethroned' could originate from Orange Goblin. And then there is a distinct passion for thrash and black metal in a couple of songs.

As you can see, HAZZARD'S CURE don't make it easy for the reviewer. However, one thing is certain: I enjoy listening to the included seven songs. Technically flawless, the crunchy guitars are rough and heavy as a rusty steel girder and the drums thunder like a mighty hammer through your chest. Most of the tracks merge into one another which gives the impression that this album only consists of two or three songs.

Another advantage is the variety of changes in tempo, ranging from mid-tempo grooves to fiery and fast outbursts and taking in some interesting rhythmic patterns along the way. I believe that this is fundamentally a credit to drummer Clint Baechle, who's doing an excellent job here. Tracks such as 'Great Dishonor' ooze with a pulsating hostile energy while 'Clashing Of Hordes' surprises with a few acoustic guitars and clean vocals. All in all, HAZZARD'S CURE have managed to record a complex, well-executed and brutal debut album. Rarely a band this consistently good and unafraid to tread along the outside edge of the path.