Fogg
High Testament

 

Well, I’ll be damned…I didn’t have high hopes for High Testament, the sophomore album from Ft. Worth, TX’s self-described “heavy-psych power trio”, Fogg. Unfair of me, to say the least, being that I had never heard them or of them before, learning only minutes before pushing the play button, that they were a fuzzy, psychedelic, stoner metal band did nothing to intrigue me. I try to be open to all genres of music, especially metal. I try to view things with a “if it’s good, I like it” mentality, but in all honesty, my heart lays in the extremes of the thrash, death, black, and grind spectrum of metal’s rainbow. With my disapproving frown firmly in place, I put on my headphones, hit the play button, and within just a few minutes, was slapped with the reality that High Testament was going to be one damn good listen.

Putting BIack Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Fuzz, and Witch all together in a blender would be a good way to describe the sound found on High Testament. Imagine if you took away the menacing dread from Sabbath, leaving only the blues infused heavy yet open-aired jam assault of Iommi, Butler, and Ward and mixed it with a more ‘60’s hippie vibe. From the literal tones of the instrumentation, to the spectacular songwriting arrangements, to the spot on retro vibed production, and the more than competent level of playing, Fogg has constructed one excellent album.

Whether it’s the fuzzed out jams of “Joy of Home” or “You’re Welcome”, or the more thunderous rocking of “Seasons” or the downright awesome display of “Mountain”, showing us what Black Sabbath might have sounded like if Ray Manzarek (The Doors) had joined the band, Fogg brings the goods. Hell, even the acoustic hippie induced stylings of “The Garden” and “Hand of the Lord” are as genuine feeling as they come. The fact that this trio is made up of guys in their early twenties really testifies to the talent and understanding that Fogg has of a sound that was long gone before they as individuals, were ever thought of.

Metal and its many subgenres are not known for being something that brings in the money. Only a small fraction, truly earn a living at being in a band, and an even smaller fraction get rich from it. It’s usually a given, that metal bands and those related, have a genuine love for the music, knowing that a loss of money is far more likely from being in a band, than a profit is too happen. After listening to High Testament, it is clear that Fogg has a true love for what they are doing, even expressing it in “Grass in Mind”, as the last lines of the album repeat out, “love who you are, for love is what you are”.

Hats off to the young lads of Fogg, they’ve crafted a really fine album in High Testament, one that not only showcases their skills, but more importantly, their love of fuzzy jams. Normally, this style/genre isn’t one I reach for too often, but when I do, I want it done right, and these guys certainly do it right.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
September 16th, 2015

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