The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Birch Hill Dam

Colossus

2012

 

 

 

 

 

I am always posting news items in our news section and by happenstance, the publicist passed along the link to the band and I received an email asking if I had any interest in checking out the latest disc from Birch Hill Dam.  Why not?  I love discovering new bands I like (and the occasional band to stay away from).

 

 

 

"Colossus" starts off lightly and leaves me wondering where this thing is headed, but a minute in, there is no doubt.  Soon there is plenty of guitar, heavy bass, and rock vocals emanating from my speakers.  This track is a great introduction to the band and a great tune to open a heavy rock disc with.  "2600" has that heavy rock groove that instantly shows the influence bands like Black Sabbath had on these guys.  The vocals fit the vibe created by the music.  There is some great 70's sounding guitar here, while the solo steps into the present and pleases.  "Fathoms Below" sounds great from the start.  The drums are tribal and grab you.  The guitars are light and energetic, while the now familiar bass line anchors the track.  The vocals kick in and take you on a road trip that has been well mapped out by the instruments.  Vocally, this is one of my favorite tracks on the disc.

 

 

 

"Slavedriver" picks up where the previous track left off.  This track keeps the energy level up.  The song flows well and the musicianship is evident here.  This one chugs along nicely, even with a distortion piece in the introduction and about midway through the track.  "Holy Days Aren't Here Again" has distorted guitars and a fuzzy bass line to open with.  It almost sounds like they are going for the gloom and doom sound, but soon the fuzz gives way to another killer guitar-bass line that drives the song.  Throw in some Jon Lord inspired organ and the song takes on a different life from most tracks here.  The vocals contribute to the mystique created, as this track sounds lees like the rest on this disc.  "Threatening Skies" has a VERY Black Sabbath influenced guitar riff to open the song, but the drums and vocals let you know these guys are their own band and not simply a Sabbath rip-off.  We are back on track after the left turn the previous track took.

 

 

 

"Ivory Tusk" is another standout track that has the key componets required of a good rock song.  The guitar work is solid, the rhythm section keeps time and adds to the mix.  When the vocals kick in, it is as if the song took flight.  The guitarist starts adding in the flair, pings, and squeals that most players use to mark their territory.  The effects are added without detracting from the playing.  "Spread Eagle" kicks in and we are again treated to a nice guitar-bass piece, but the drums kick in and light the track up.  Once we get to the vocals, we are back in slow rock form.  The the musicianship kicks it up a notch to remind you this is 2012, not 1968-1972.  Even the vocals shift gears and keep you guessing.  Not a bad track at all.  The final track is listed as a bonus.  "Burn In Hell" is one hell of a bonus track, as it is one of my favorite tracks from Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister.  The music is heavy and true to the original.  Even the vocals are eerily similar to Dee Snider, but a little heavier.  This is exactly what I think Dee had in mind in 1984.  This version is all balls.

 

 

 

Birch Hill Dam - hopefully you are open to something new.  If not, trust me, this is your loss.  These guys rock in a mellow 70's rock vein, but they rock nonethelless.

 

 

by Todd Jolicoeur