When you start to think of genre-clashing bands, you normally come up with something like the trancecore of Enter Shikari, or the ragga metal of Skindred. However, post-hardcore and sludge metal? That’s certainly a new one. This is a musical headfuck that, on paper, should never work but somehow does, marrying the bone-crushing heaviness and technicality of Leviathan-era Mastodon to the groove-based hyperactivity of Glassjaw. This is taut, visceral, utterly bonkers and, above all else, inconceivably heavy – well, almost above all else, other than the fact it’s available for a nominal download from their Bandcamp page.
From first appearances of the tracklisting (titles like ‘Sea Of Trees’, ‘Golgothan’ and ‘Sludgehammer’) and the sort of bands they have shared a stage with (Torche, Astrohenge, Dopefight amongst others), you could be easily forgiven for thinking this straightforward stoner-metal thoroughfare, but this is so much more three-dimensional than that. Sure, this bludgeons and eviscerates from the start, with opening track ‘Crows’ boasting the sort of titanic riff latter-day Converge could be proud of, but when vocalist Charley Hunt’s Palumbo-esque croon kicks in on ‘Sea Of Trees’, this is where we see DKH’s spark of originality really ignite.
Yet more unlikely territory is explored on the excellent ‘Flight To The Sun’, which unleashes a spacey riff reminiscent of Jupiter-era Cave In. This is the Brighton-based five-piece’s third release (the first since 2010’s ‘Cabin Fever’ EP), and this 7 track mini-album release sees them finding a real sense of direction and purpose. Britain doesn’t seem to have the same heritage of sludge metal bands that the US does – well, other than Black Sabbath having practically invented it – but this release really feels like something fresh and new has started up, and if they keep giving songs names as excellent as ‘Congregation Of Cunts’, best of luck to them. An excellent record to end 2012 and start 2013 with.