Slave The Hive
Label: Century Media
Too fully formed for sludge but too messily uncooked for power metal, too slow for thrash but too fast for doom, this Oakland power trio seemingly derives their considerable rep from simply being a metal band, period: Like Mastodon, but more massively muscle-bound. Their seventh album roars constantly, speeding to Motörhead velocity in "Slave The Hive," seeking epic grandeur in "The Falconist" and tripping into a stoner ballad rain cloud with "The Cave," but generally just battle-marching implacably ahead. Every now and then, ex-Sleep frontman Matt Pike takes a very impressive guitar solo.