Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Blood Lust

When I first heard the opening track from this record, the addictive and rifftastic “I’ll Cut You Down,” it was hard for me to believe that this album wasn’t recorded in the late 60s or early 70s – and that’s a great thing! Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats are one of the few acts of the recent retro-doom surge to actually sound like they were recently unearthed from some Satan-forsaken basement left untouched since the heyday of Charles Manson’s Family. With classic and incredibly catchy pentatonic riffs played through overblown tube amps with plenty of tape distortion, Blood Lust could easily pass for an early work by some long-forgotten paragon of doom metal. If you took the bluesy riffs of Pentagram and Saint Vitus and produced them with the same brickwalled and constantly in-the-red mix as Iggy and the Stooges’ legendary Raw Power, you’d probably end up with something like this. The scuzzy garage-rock production gives these guys an urgent edge that contemporaries like Witchcraft and The Devil’s Blood are sorely lacking. The guitars are pure Iommi worship through and through with bluesy licks and groovy solos abound, the drums keep a steady and lumbering beat, and the bass throws in plenty of Geezer-style fills while keeping a solid bedrock throughout every song. And Uncle Acid’s vocals are a great throwback to that magical time when you didn’t really have to know how to sing if you wanted to be a singer; all you needed to do was carry a catchy melody, you didn’t need to have pipes like Dio or Bruce Dickinson.* It’s even better that Uncle Acid’s vocal style, an airy falsetto that creeps through the dank and cloudy mix like the shadow of Nosferatu, adds even more to the already-perfectly creepy atmosphere.

Despite the album’s overall groovy and psychedelic feel, there’s still plenty of sinister doom on tracks like the Mellotron-tinged “Withered Hand of Evil” and the head-nodding “Death’s Door,” while cuts like “13 Candles” and “Over and Over Again” groove with a bluesy shuffle that you rarely ever see in modern doom, it being so obsessed with crushing heaviness that it’s often all but forgotten how to rock the fuck out. Leave it to Uncle Acid to school their sorry asses; I guarantee you that songs like “Ritual Knife” will burrow their way into your brain like only the catchiest jams will, and you’ll be humming along to those sexy riffs nonstop for the next few days after you put this on. The lyrics mostly focus on Crowleyan and Satanic hippie kitsch; the weird world of erotic rites, bizarre rituals, and unspeakable cults – this would go great with your next dopesmoking session while watching Hammer horror classics on mute, a niche that I thought Electric Wizard’s recent work had a complete monopoly on. All things considered, Blood Lust is an absolutely solid choice for your local coven’s next virginal sacrifice, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If only they pressed more than 350 copies on vinyl…

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