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Black Thunder

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Album Review

Though their Halloween cartoon imagery might evince instant thoughts of gothic punks the Misfits, that is but one small dimension of the Doomriders package, the bulk qualifying simply as stoner rock — albeit stoner rock infused with lacerated metalcore vocals, heavily distorted guitars, and, yes, a little good-humored punk rock belligerence behind their lyrics. In fact, listeners will probably find the Massachusetts quartet (spearheaded by Converge and Old Man Gloom man Nate Newton) at its best when frothing at the mouth and ripping up the joint via frenzied outbursts like "Deathbox," "Worthless," or "Listen Up!!," which tellingly requires only the words "Get off my f*cking back!" repeated ad nausea to deliver one of the album's most infectious scream-alongs. Sometimes equally amusing, though not often as inspiring, are mini-doom stompers like "F**k This S**t," the slow-building, Southern-flavored instrumental "Voice of Fire," and the closing, inescapably advancing "Sirens." But it may well be the hybrid likes of the title cut, "The Long Walk," as well as, once again, the all-purpose "Listen Up!!" that wind up determining Doomriders' unique contribution to posterity: the special ingredient of using dual-lead guitar harmonies for a sound that has seen them described not inaccurately as Entombed jamming with Thin Lizzy. Should this obvious side project ever record a second opus, and, more importantly, get serious about their long-term intentions, smart money is on that latter facet of their musical mix to help them stand out from the pack.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active:

Salem, Massachusetts' Doomriders are a side project for workaholic Converge and Old Man Gloom member Nate Newton (guitar and vocals), in collaboration with friends Chris Pupecki (guitar), Jebb Riley (bass and vocals), and Chris Bevalaqua (drums). And, where most of their regular pursuits (bands like There Were Wires, Blacktail, Hallraker, and Some Kind of Hate) involve painstakingly assembled...
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