Beaten Back to Pure The Last Refuge Of The Sons Of Bitches

Beaten Back To Pure are rightly poised to grab the doom/sludge crown from its current home in New Orleans and tote it all the way to their home state of Virginia. Front-man Ben Hogg gives a gutsy performance, half in hardcore screamo mode, half in a surprisingly strong tenor. The title track (and later, "866 Days") pummels like EHG meeting Cable, then abruptly breaks into an acoustic interlude, picking back up with a solidly doom-y, Skynyrd-like outro. Drummer Chuck Ember's calibrated pedal work on the kick drums makes "Wheels Coming Off" resemble a groovy Pantera outtake from the Far Beyond Driven sessions, yet he never overpowers the band's perfectly balanced formula (check out the barn-burning Fireball Ministry-like instrumental "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny.") The Solitude Aeturnus-ish "Syphilis" creeps along like the spread of said disease, while the Sabbath-ified "Shards Of Mason Jars" double-times it halfway through like Blind-era COC. "Paleface" begins acoustically with Hogg intoning the venerable warble of Acid Bath/Agents Of Oblivion front-man Dax Riggs, and "Double Barrel Blasphemy" polishes off the album with an extended dive into the muck. Iron Monkey with a Southern rock swing, Beaten Back To Pure aim to please. (Retribute)