REVIEW: Keeper / Sea Bastard (Split)


‘777 / Astral Rebirth’ (Split)
Dry Cough Records
Released: January 2015

Two bands with differing approaches to sludge, but bound together in their exemplary devotion to the kind of relentless ferocity that makes your ears fall off and your brain implode.

Last year, Californians Keeper released a demo that got people talking, and here again they demonstrate why they are considered such an exciting prospect. ‘777’ is 14 minutes of desolate, shrieking horror. But not just any old horror, this is crafted and finely-honed horror.

Keeper have that rare gift: the ability to batter one chord into submission for an eternity and yet make it sound not only hypnotising but interesting and original. They maintain a high level of intensity, and it will be very interesting to watch these green shoots of misery grow over the next couple of years.

Sea Bastard, meanwhile, are stalwarts of the UK underground and deploy the kind of down-tuned sonic approach that can make a bong explode from three kilometres.

Sea Bastard are so heavy that when you listen to this song, the Earth temporarily adjusts its orbit around the Sun, to compensate for the additional weight. Not a band to worry overly about style, they prefer to obliterate everything in their path with substance, and it’s something they have become rather good at, as this latest composition attests.

The first new material from the band since the 2013 album ‘Scabrous’, this is all about shuddering guitars, long, slow riffs, and relentless anger. Well, not quite relentless. Just past the halfway mark on this 20-minute behemoth, Sea Bastard launch into a fast bit*** which adds a pinch of groove and is sure to get a pit swirling.

This is a great release from Dry Cough Records, showcasing some truly horrifying talent from either side of the Atlantic.

*** We’re not talking Dragonforce here…


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