When Optical Sounds (new issue out now!) did a God Unknown special a few years ago, I had the pleasure of covering Henge who at the time were about to unleash their debut album. That album still gets played on a regular basis and considering it’s three years old that is quite some achievement at Heathen Towers. So here we are, and the long awaited follow up is about to see the light of day.
The album opener ‘Compressor’ is a seven minute instrumental, it’s a real slow burner or should that be slow stoner? It certainty wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Kyuss album. We find ourselves set adrift on the second track ‘The Sea’ seemingly on gentle seas, but slowly things start to change and once Loz Chalk’s distinctive vocals kick in the whole band lock into a very dark and slowly burning groove. Guitarist ‘Jamie Partridge’ really cuts loose whilst the rhythm section of Gabriel Stones (bass) and Andrew Mealor (drums) just nail the whole thing to the floor. The Doomier side of the band can be heard on ‘Beginners’ and ‘Human Being’. The thing is so many bands spring to mind, bands such as ‘Harvey Milk‘, ‘Boris‘, ‘Melvins‘ and ‘The Jesus Lizard’but only as touching points. With ‘Draclia’ and ‘Nike’ closing the album with some long heavy doom laden psych.
It may have taken a long time for this album to see the light of day but it’s been worth the wait, the band have taken their sound to the next level. They have kept all the key ingredients that made their last album so enjoyable and stretched and twisted them so their sound has morphed into something new and yet familiar. According to the info I received about this album, “The cover says it all. There was an ecstasy tablet going around London a couple of years ago, unbeknownst to the band, bearing their name and logo. Reports say the experience was like witnessing HENGE live -claustrophobic but downright beautiful. “, well I think that sums things up perfectly.