Brainoil Death of This Dry Season

Brainoil Death of This Dry Season
A rare split with Cruevo and 2003's self-titled album on Life is Abuse set the stage for Brainoil's brand of muckraking sludge metal. Taking a hiatus, the band members ― Nate Smith (guitar/vocals), Greg Wilkinson (bass/vocals), and Ira Harris (drums) ― busied themselves in Stormcrow, Laudanum and Watch Them Die, respectively, until the klaxon call of Weedeater, Sourvein and a reinvigorated Eyehategod was too loud to ignore. The sophomore full-length and the first album in eight years from this Oakland, CA-based squad, Death of This Dry Season solidifies Brainoil's spin on this disconsolate subgenre, though not without recycled riffs and tempo swapping. "Gravity is a Relic" immediately recalls the filthy heft of Hawg Jaw, with Smith's shining rock solos smothered by faster, hardcore-like severity. The track slows down halfway through, EHG-style, and both "The Beauty of Death" and the title track follow this pattern. "Opaque Reflections" is their sonic opposite, starting off slow and ending speedily at an Extreme Noise Terror clip. "Feet Cling to the Rotting Soil" matches said momentum with no deceleration, as does "Crimson Shadows," with a sluggish middle. Book-ended both by fast and slow sludge, the album highlight is "To Bury the Pages of Existence," which exudes an Iron Monkey vibe, but boasts an even slower midsection. Brainoil enjoy a welcomed return to the Bay Area sludge-doom scene, and though their songs are awfully formulaic, Death of This Dry Season could very well coax Noothgrush and Dystopia out of retirement too. (20 Buck Spin)