Stoner rock seems to be leaking into death metal a bit more and more these days. Coffins, Acid Witch, and Hooded Menace have all managed to incorporate weedy grooves in to traditionally dark and dreary doomy death metal and have done it pretty damn well. With a member of death metallers Invasion and Nocturnal Torment in their ranks, it’s no surprise that Indiana’s Yellowtooth makes a similar attempt to marry the two styles on on their debut album Disgust. Yellowtooth, unlike the aforementioned bands, lean firmly on the side of rock and roll, with the death metal/sludge influence coming in the vocals, production and guitar tone. The results are solid, though there are some clashing incongruities between the two styles particularly where the vocals are concerned. Nevertheless, Disgust has enough filthy grooves, sweltering solos, and choruses that stick in your craw to make this a decent first outing.
This is a band that unashamedly wears their influences on their sleeve. Clutch, Cathedral, Trouble all get together for a jam along with the obvious Sabbath and southern rock influences and maybe a little Autopsy stirring in the background. While the music is primarily influenced by rough hewn heavy rock, the vocals of guitarist Henry McGinnis are firmly rooted in the grumbles of the death metal underground. He’s nearly a dead ringer for mid-nineties Chris Barnes. The production also takes a note from the murk of death metal and the band opts for a thin grimy guitar tone.
“Wizard Dust” opens with some nice grooves and McGinnis’ hoarse roar. The combination of roaring vocals and straight-up stoner riffs is a little strange at first, like listening to Clutch fronted by Chris Barnes, but after a few tunes it starts to click. The band mostly sticks to the Sabbath/Clutch/stoner jams (“John Wilkes Booth”, “75 Black Pontiac”, “On the Trail of Lewis Medlock”), but throw in some heavier doom riffs and death metal imagery. “Burning Daylight” lays down some particularly awesome crawly doom and “Decaying From Within” hews even closer to straight up death/doom.
The production is the weak link here though and may be the culprit behind the music clashing with the vocals. It’s a little thin overall and doesn’t have the booming depth these riffs are just asking for. The bass seems to be pushed back a little too far in the mix as well, but the music speaks for itself and Yellowtooth come up strong where it counts. Get the old heads together and crack a case of PBR for this one.[Visit the band's website]