To feel excited about hearing a new album for the first time is great, but to feel excited about someone else hearing it, now that’s special, and today, MonkHammer feels very special indeed. Grooved-up, psyched-out, low-down stoner metal has had a rough old time of late, with heavy-hitters like The Sword, The Midnight Ghost Train and Torche (and perhaps even Red Fang if you’re being really harsh) putting out material that doesn’t quite live up to their legacies, but thankfully, London-based doom-weavers Limb are here to put that right with Saboteurs of the Sun, which sounds like Baroness and Sasquatch made sweet love in the Desertfest toilets, and forgot to clear up. With no single band member allowed to upstage another, every wheel greasing the next, the band come together as one to create a monolithic slab of grunting heavy that crawls like magma under Russ Russell’s tar-thick production, a hulking beast of an album that gets better with every track. No small feat considering how strongly the album opens with Wych Elm, a planet-smashing chugathon worthy of any doom/sludge band you care to mention, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning in itself. The following three tracks up the ante at every opportunity, but the real turning point is Astronaut, a suitably spacey Black Sabbath/Pink Floyd ketamine fever-dream that earths the fuzzy onslaught for just a moment, before leading the listener like a degenerate Pied Piper into the final stretch of Love Has No Name, Curse Tablet, Man on the Outside and Truth Be Damned, as good a run of straight-up, fist-pumping, blood-letting, chest-beating metal as you’ll hear this year. Deserving of every bit of success the likes of Red Fang and Orange Goblin have enjoyed since the turn of the decade, and maybe even a little more, Saboteurs of the Sun should be required listening for any self-respecting metalhead in 2018.
Saboteurs of the Sun is out on New Heavy Sounds on 25 May