Raging Speedhorn – “Hard To Kill” (Red Weed Records)
Battle Helm Rating19
Resurrecting their doom sludge in fine style comes Corby’s finest in Raging Speedhorn, here to terrorise a town near you! Formed in the late 90s and inspired by bands like Iron Monkey and Hard To Swallow, Raging Speedhorn featured a similar dual vocal attack that worked a treat live, where the band gained a fearsome reputation leading to great success on the live front, supporting Rammstein, Slipknot, Ill Niño, Biohazard, Nile and Carnivore to name but a few (!), as well as playing at Ozzfest, Download, Sonisphere, With Full Force and Summer Sonic in Japan! Splitting in 2008, the band reformed in 2014, playing occasional live events thereafter, until returning with their 5th album “Lost Ritual” in 2016, which featured new co-vocalist Dan Cook, who replaced long standing John Loughlin, who stood down after 21 years. Still with founding co-frontman Frank Regan and founding drummer Gordon Morison, “Hard To Kill” is aptly titled for many reasons, reflecting the 20 year+ popularity of the band as well as their longevity over the years and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic! Opening through instantly catchy down tuned riffs that propel a powerful Southern groove immediately recognisable to anyone familiar with the band (not forgetting all those gigs), the dual screamo of Regan and Cook does the job in adding just the right touch of acidic nastiness to make this lot as shifty as their name suggests. With the feedback droning and a deep bass driving another monster Southern riff, ‘Hammer Down’ rolls in syrup thick grooves that will have you headbanging just like before, while the more up tempo ‘Brutality’ speaks for itself, chugging away menacingly through more down tuned balls out glory, while the vocalists are coming at you from all angles spitting fire and venom – classic Raging Speedhorn! Slowing it down to doom noise levels on ‘The Best’, the sludge rolls in as thickly as Mississippi mud, albeit with plenty of catchiness thanks to the powerful grooves and a touch of Southern melody while Regan and Cook scream, belch, roar and even sing to raise the eyebrow every now and then. It sounds like six albums on, Raging Speedhorn are still loving what they’re doing. Oh, and they massacre T Rex’s ‘Children Of The Revolution’ at the end – like I said, well dodgy this lot!