Groan – Ride the Snake (2013) review

The saying goes that old habits die hard, and this is none more apparent than the host of doom bands play as though caught in a time warp from the 1970’s.
UK doom squad Groan prove this to be a double edged sword on their most recent studio outing Ride the Snake, which flickers between the aforementioned worship of their pioneering elders to some excellent quirks of their own.

Each of the five songs on the ep have a different sound from the Sabbath-esque Women of the Doom to the catchy rocking that Cathedral are known for in Drug Lord. It’s largely in the latter half of the ep that the band get their creative juices flowing with the one-two finale of Blessed is my Blade and Citadel of Chaos being outstanding slices of heaviness with hooks that Down would be proud of, it’s also here that vocalist Andreas Mazzereth shows his full potential where it could occasionally be somewhat jarring as on Slice of that Vibe.

What the band may lack in originality in places they more than make up for in competence and solidity and this is by no means a bad collection of songs as Groan show more than just a snippet of potential, but are in an experimental period where finding their own identity that is demonstrated here in places will propel them to the recognition they deserve. (7)

Words Callum Cragg

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