Review: Thinning The Herd – Oceans Rise

You know what I like the most about writing for Dose of Metal? I get tons of music for free, and legally too. Most of the bands I’m covering for reviews, I didn’t even know of before. In some cases, as with The Cleansing, Die, Reckless Manslaughter, Nephrolith, Colonel Blast and more, I’m really happy to be in a place where those bands — or people who do promotion for those bands — want me to write about their music. Simply because I also really, really enjoy that music.

In some other cases — and I’m not going to name bands now — I’d rather not write about them. I like to make fun of a band here and there but I really don’t enjoy bashing unknown bands, even if they do deserve it. But sometimes I just can’t help myself, like it happened in the Spotlight (R.I.P.) collumn a bunch of times.

You might just now be wondering why the hell I’m rambling so much. Well, it’s simple. I’ve never heard anything by Thinning The Herd before, and I don’t know anything about these three dudes either. I’d like to listen to their album, Oceans Rise, with a fresh and clean mind. I honestly don’t know what I’m getting into with this band, but I would like to find out if they’re going to end up in a section with the bands mentioned in the first paragraph or with the bands not mentioned in the second paragraph. Make the jump to find out.

Thinning The Herd – Oceans Rise

1. Oceans Rise – 4:17
2. Look Behind – 3:02
3. Defiler – 4:58
4. Chill In The Air – 4:09
5. Binge – 4:19
6. Wide Crossing – 4:57
7. My Wake – 3:04
8. On Fire – 6:00

Looking at the artwork, it’s rather simple. A black-and-white picture of a bridge, coupled with a bland font that you can find in any photo-editing software. I just hope the music isn’t as bad as the album artwork.

The album starts off with some of the baddest and greatest Stoner/Doom Metal riffing I’ve heard in a long time. The main riff of ‘Oceans Rise’ is so catchy and badass, it could have been written by Black Sabbath in their prime. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Tony Iommi was hard at work here. The band are at their best when they’re playing slow and bluesy. The intro of ‘Chill In The Air’ even reminds me of Load/Re-Load era Metallica. The faster songs, ‘Look Behind’ for example, are kind of missing the edge of the slower songs. They’re not bad but the band just shines the most when they’re playing slower.

The vocals aren’t perfect but they fit. I could do with a little more aggression but maybe that’s just me. At times he doesn’t quite hit the notes perfectly and sounds out of tune. Either way, I like the singing the most on the epic last song of the album, ‘On Fire.’ The soloing on that particular song is a big highlight on the album.

Thinning The Herd are oldschool. I’d think the band’s music is best consumed at a campfire with a joint in your hand. I couldn’t start a campfire in the middle of my apartment and it’s a bit too early to start smoking weed now, but I really enjoyed Oceans Rise anyhow. It’s not perfect but it’s enjoyable music if you’re into oldschool metal as much as I am. In private I’d give this album a slightly higher rating but I have to keep my professionalism, and the vocals really need some more working on. If you don’t quite hit a note, record it again and don’t leave it as it is. It might have some charm the first time but after a while it gets annoying. Good album either way.

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