Moho
…He Visto La Cruz Al Reves

Not since UK doom-riders Iron Monkey crawled back into their filthy warrens in the late ’90s has there been a worthier band to take up this mantle than Spain’s Moho. A typical power trio with a bassist/vocalist, they released the 2004 debut 20 Uñas to much critical fanfare, earning comparisons (and derisions) to New Orleans’ Eyehategod. Their sophomore offering, loosely translated as “I have seen the cross the other way around,” spotlights chordage like Japan’s Church of Misery but with a doomier slant like Ramesses, and the digipak includes a DVD of live footage.

Exhibiting similarities to Weedeater, opening cut “Semana Santa” takes its time in developing its mammoth grooves, though it triple-times the pace near the end then fishtails its way back into the molasses. Drummer Eduardo, master of the batería (which sounds so much cooler en español), has a different shuffle rhythm to match the mood of each song: his cymbal-snare syncopation in “El Duelo” starts off like Sleep then slides into old My Dying Bride territory. Surely a shout-out to Ohio’s underground sludge-slingers, “Fistula” sports an amazing drum shuffle beat through shades of old Electric Wizard. The brief “180°” is the fastest track, especially wedged in front of the eleven-minute “Coche Funebre,” which in turn mimics the calculated, pummeling sloth of Iron Monkey—and only in the final minute does the song lurch into a groovy swing for a speedy finale. “Lava” (not a Ministry cover, unfortunately) is half-fast, half-slow, all gold.

The DVD covers four separate European shows, all shot as amateur video. The Berlin gig in grainy B&W features “Semana Santa,” “180°,” and the excellent Melvins-esque chug of “Caronte” (from 20 Uñas). The video is clearer in Dunkirk for another “180°” and the Helmet-like build-up and release of “El Tren” (also from 20 Uñas). Color but blurry footage in Le Mans underscores “Fistula,” with a kid in the front row headbanging with a finger in his ear. Nantes edges out the rest with the wonderful in-concert improvisation of “Semana Santa” and the gloriously distorted “El Tren.” Limited to 1,000 copies and already sold out at many webstores, …He Visto La Cruz Al Reves is another pinnacle of sludge metal, and it would behoove a label like Chicago’s Seventh Rule to scoop this up in a second for North American release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
April 27th, 2007

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