(Self-released, December 2013)
Poland’s 71TONMAN masterfully mix sludge, doom, stoner, epic and heavy metal to create an intoxicating debut release. Telling the story of a post-apocalyptic world, this self-titled concept album is bold and ambitious, and 71TONMAN pull their ideas and varying musical styles together with great skill and confidence.
Each song is expertly constructed and has a clear personality of its own (without ever straying too far from the band’s sludgy core) and each is hugely engaging, with massive riffs and sublime chord progressions set against a backdrop of despair and end-of-the-world anarchy. Singer J.J. alternates between quivering growls and psychotic shrieks, but always with a kind of musicality behind them rather than rage, relentlessly building a mood of anguish. The band has also done an excellent job of self-producing the album, with every instrument getting a fair bite of the doom pie.
Formed 2011 in Wroclaw in western Poland, 71TONMAN describe themselves as ‘”Fat, low and slow” but this does not quite do them justice because their music is more sophisticated than that. They are perhaps at their best during the album’s more atmospheric and epic passages, such as the brilliant ‘Cyborg Jesus’, but are equally happy to attack your eardrums stoner-style. An example is the track ‘Face Fuckin’ Machine’ which stomps along at a fair pace, before kicking in with a classic metal guitar solo.
That’s one of the great things about this album: you never know what twist it’s going to take next – they must be great fun to see live.
The only minor complaints might be the over-use of narrated parts and the choice of cartoon album artwork that clearly isn’t intended to be taken too seriously but which might put off some listeners. Other than that, the only problem is the fact that the album has to end. But when it does, you can go back to the start and listen all over again. And again. And again…
Listen and buy here: http://71tonman.bandcamp.com/album/71tonman