9 Chambers

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Review by Brian McGowan

As has been widely documented, this noisy agglomeration of hard rock dudes is in fact a “supergroup” of sorts. Greg Hampton, Ed Mundell, Vinny Appice and Jorgen Carllson – Govt Mule, Monster Magnet, Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath alumni – have put together this thick, bubbling stew of metalised hard rock. You can stand your spoon up in it.

A non stop spin through all 15 tracks is a bruising encounter. The claustrophobic intensity is a relentless, unyielding weapon wielded by the band. One that allows the hard hitting lyrics to be delivered with appropriate force. Essentially the album is a steely web of sludgy riffs and seismic rhythms, populated with sturdy melodies that snag you slowly, then stick like industrial strength araldite.

Relief from the gloom comes in the form of oily axe solos that slip and slide through the music, reflecting light, illuminating the darkness inherent in songs like ‘Know Your Enemy’ and ‘Bury Yourself’.

Opener ‘Life Goes On’ sets out the band’s stall with a combative flourish.  It’s a massive slab of mutated hard rock that speeds to a staccato clatter then slows to a memorably melodic mid section, before returning to the start.

‘Majick Number’ and ‘No Escape’ are reminiscent of Cream’s sonic brew, in which guitars, drums and bass mesh in a marriage of cast iron riffs, psyched up lyrics and brazen power.

Hampton’s densely textured production ensures that everything is fleshed out to the max, but more importantly guarantees that the band’s sturdy melodies find a way to rise above the music’s murky waters.

Elsewhere, ‘Other Side of Time’ kicks out a funky, psychedelic groove, in a King’s X vein. And even on ‘Indeed The Sun’ and ‘Darker Side Of Sunshine’ – both blistering slices of disaffection and rage – aurally adhesive hooks and harmonies are given precedence over the grinding, biting guitars and pummelling rhythms.

Fans of 9 Chambers’ four originating bands may well find much to like here.

Rating 7/10