Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Magnus - Magnus

Muddy the Riff Monster

Magnus are part of the underground scene in Fort Worth, TX. There is a tragic story behind the music on this album as the original guitarist/vocalist passed away in 2003, and the band went on hiatus till 2007. His demo vocal recordings can still be heard along with the vocals of Kenneth Thompson, who also plays the bass.

Now to the music itself...

Magnus' self-titled is a riff-based juggernaut with pounding bass and groovy restless drumming. The overall sound is very misleading: the production seems somewhat garagey, but somehow every component is still very clear and apparent, especially the bass, which stands out in a very subtle way. To describe Magnus’ self-titled, two words are really needed: riff storm. And indeed, the mighty riff is in the heart of this release… the mighty ever-changing, ever-shifting riff.

Overall there is a lot of sludgy groove, which is just fun listening to, but it’s not all that simple. The tracks are quite dynamic and even neurotic in the way the parts change each other, but at the same time Magnus do not go over the top with technicalities making them very listenable and easy-going. The exception would be the last track, which builds up for five minutes and only then bursts into a chaotic, psychedelic and also, in some oxymoronic way, soothing delirium. The rare occasions, on which vocals appear, could be described as shrieks of a desperate madman, which complement the sludgy atmosphere in a most suitable way.

To listen to the album, go by this link and behold the rise of the riff-monster.

The band has changed the name to Unraveler. Follow them on Facebook.

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