Fact Is Purpose: Dunsmuir Reviewed
Dunsmuir have unearthed gold on their mysterious island by delivering a tale worthy of both Weird Tales and Heavy Metal Magazine. Their self titled debut is a Rock ‘n Roll romp through woe, deceit, sirens, cannibals, old gods and ancient mysteries.
First and foremost, Dunsmuir is what some would call a supergroup. And while that is a nasty word around these parts, Dunsmuir have gathered the ingredients for a truly monumental album which will surely be welcome to any fan of Rock ‘n Roll and early Heavy Metal.
Ingredient #1: The Elder
Vinny Appice is a name well-known in the realm of Heavy Metal and Rock. His resume is an extensive one, but he is best known for his work in Black Sabbath and Dio. Appice’s drumming is solid, traditional, driving and a force of nature. He captures the wild beat, tames it, makes it his own and allows for a brooding ferociousness to leap out when needed. Throughout this record he displays a true professionalism that comes with age and wisdom, not asking to be the center of attention (something many men of his posture could and do ask for) but wanting to push this band as its own entity. “Our Only Master” is Appice’s standout track, in which his signature snare crack and well calculated drum fills drive the point home.
Ingredient #2: The Backbone
Brad Davis, precision thumper of Fu Manchu, is the glue that binds this album together. His style is nestled in the valley between too great Hills, Dusty and Ian. By combing the bluesy swagger of ZZ Top‘s bearded bassman and the precision of Judas Priest long time low-ender, Davis keeps the bass right where it needs to be and executes his duty with punctuality and finesse. “Church of the Tooth” represents Davis’s ability to lead a song; however, his slow and heavy bass riffs stand tall and, as is already known, solidifies him as one of the greats.
Ingredient #3: The Axeman
Dave Bone is perhaps the most unknown member of the band, his only prior recordings being The Company Band with fellow Dunsmuirian, Neil Fallon. Bone does an outstanding job of differentiating the two bands, by utilizing a more aggressive musical and tonal style on this album. His guitar sits front and center with a thick, crunchy, overdriven sizzle while moments of Scott Gorham, Glenn Tipton, Tony Iommi and Dave Chandler peek through, resulting in a solid, blues-driven Heavy Metal atmosphere. Some of Bone’s most creative lead melodies occur throughout “The Gate” in which he displays his competence as an axe wielder.
Ingredient #4: The Wordsmith
Neil Fallon is a thinking man’s lyricist and one heck of a front man. It is evident throughout his extensive discography with Clutch that he has no problem telling weird and uncanny tales, and with Dunsmuir he does just that. With his vigorous and energetic storytelling abilities, Fallon unfolds a Phil Lynott approved story depicting a shipwrecked 19th century scientific expedition and the fantastical wonders they behold. Of course, the lyrics would be meaningless if he didn’t have the vocals to back up his Lovecarftian tale, but Fallon delivers with ease. The final track “Crawling Chaos” is perhaps Fallon’s most brilliant performance, utilizing double track vocals to produce an eerie mood while he exclaims “the old ones have awoken, thoroughly unhinged and unhappy with us all.”
Collectively this band worked together to bring us a no frills, Heavy Rock ‘n Roll album, and I can’t complain one bit about it. Rather than sounding like any of the four members’ previous bands, Dunsmuir creates a sound that is completely their own and deserve to be seen as such. Lyrically and musically Dunsmuir blows me away with each listen. It gets progressively better each time and creates an awe-inspiring piece of art. This is music that the world needs, music that people can delve into and get lost in. Music that can get you thinking about the mysteries hidden away in the deepest corners of our world, what actions can be made to unearth them and what repercussions can be expected when the time comes. I rate this album:
4 out of 4 ancient molten heads
Dunsmuir is set for release July 22nd as a limited vinyl run of 1000 pieces that will include a signed 11×17 lithograph of the album cover. Click here to pre-order the album and pick up some of the band’s limited 7″s. Not a physical collector? Dunsmuir will be released exclusively via iTunes the same day. Give the band a like here, give the band a follow here and here, give the band your money here.