Conan, Serial Hawk, Bottomed | Beat Kitchen | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Conan


Courtesy Napalm Records

Conan, Serial Hawk, Bottomed Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., March 3, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $14, $12 in advance
Liverpool trio Conan play what they call “caveman battle doom,” which gives you some idea how seriously they want you to take their lumbering, comically down-tuned barbarian metal. Their new third full-length, Revengeance (Napalm), throbs with the inimitable guitar tone of founder and front man Jon Davis, which is as crushingly dense as the core of a collapsing star—you can practically smell the furnace-hot output tubes glowing in the back of their amps. The vocals sound like somebody (or two somebodies in a tense, warlike interval) hollering from the other side of a canyon, probably while wearing an extravagantly horned helmet and the the bloodied pelts of several recently extinct abominations. Drummer Rich Lewis (he and bassist Chris Fielding have both joined since 2014’s Blood Eagle) adds busy tumbles of varicolored cymbals that twinkle in the yawning gaps between his lunges, stomps, and stabs—he even cranks up into the occasional stampeding blastbeat, which combines with the front line’s volcanic riffs to raise a cloud of dust thick enough to blot out the sun. Every time I hear Conan these days, I imagine a towering armored beast that despite its rippling bulk turns out to be nimble enough to pluck out your eyes on the ends of two of its claws. For this tour, Renata Castagna of Samothrace fills in on bass.
— Philip Montoro


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