You know what this album should have been called? I vs. the riff! Clamfight have penned a monolithic adventure that takes you down an immensely riff-filled path, throwing in the catchiest of hooks, most competent of song writing and beyond-glorious vocals. From the second that initial scream is heard and the impending guitar riff permeates your eardrums, I just knew this album would be something immensely special. I vs. The Glacier is the sort of album that sucks you in, not letting go for its riff laden duration and commanding repeated listens. This isn’t the sort of album where you could pick out a single track and call it the best, oh no my stoney friends – all nine tracks could’ve been the single.
Given that a stoner, sludge, and doomy mixture can lead to a somewhat monotonous adventure of droning riffs, unneeded atmospheric elements, and over the top repetition, Clamfight have managed to avoid the stereotypical traps that their brethren too commonly fall into. Listen to any song on this album, and just as you feel that it’s starting to hit that point of monotony, in that very second, the song takes off in a completely new direction. Oh, and this doesn’t happen once or twice. Oh no my pothead-bearded friends; this happens all the time – I Vs. The Glacier is devoid of boring passage.
The element that has always attracted me to metal music are the riffs. Whether they are in the vein of punishing death metal brutality, beer-laden thrash madness or quick speed metal riffs, they all have to be memorable and sink their teeth into my soul, and these stoned out miscreants in Clamfight have done just that. There are innumerable times during the course of this album that I have rewound the track just to absorb that riff again. All of the songs contained on this album are just so bloody memorable. Each and every single one of them are made up of the most mind bending, THC-laden, sludgy deliciousness, that you can’t help but eat it up and ask for seconds. The riffs hit me so hard; I felt as if the gods of metal came down and bestowed this masterpiece upon me. This album is a life changing good.
Speaking of audible goodness, the vocalist is absolutely perfect for this band. His gruff shouted style accents both the guitar work and direction of the songs really well; it’s almost as if he was born to play in this band and to sing over top of these songs. He’s the sort of guy all stoner bands long for and just wish would come round. His vocals are powerful, catchy, and will find themselves stuck in your head for weeks to come, reminding you of why exactly this style of metal rules so damn hard.
Last but not least, the final noteworthy point of this album would be the production. It’s simply stellar. I hate to be that guy that says: “production is important”, but in this case, it’s so perfect that it could be considered integral. The mix and production are exquisite, and this really helps accentuate the nuances of the Clamfight sound immensely. It enhances the sheer mastery of the guitar work and breathes life into the drums. It would be easy to go on and on about this aspect, but you need just know one thing – you’ll rarely hear better production than this. It’s not over produced, simply put – it’s produced properly.
Overall, a loss of words, adjectives, and descriptors come into play with this album. It’s just so well done, that words fail to grasp its aura. If you have any brain cells left from abusing marijuana profusely, pick this album up, sit down, and just … revel in its glory. I Vs. The Glacier won’t be leaving your stereo for a very long time.