Swarm of Arrows
The Great Seekers of Lesser Life

Remember when Mastodon were a good underground metal band rather than the commercialized, major label  juggernaut they have become? Remember Remission and Leviathan? Philadelphia’s Swarm of Arrows remember, and with The Great Seekers of Lesser Life they have delivered a slightly burlier, gruffer take on Mastodon-ish rumbling, tumbling metal.

First off, all four members deliver vocals at some point from gruff, throaty shouts to gravelly clean croons and they amount a familiar Brent Hinds-ish delivery. Second, the songs structures are the same sort rocking, angular, percussion based, slightly crusty, slightly progressive, but undeniably metal. It all comes together for a pretty solid offering that comes across as a highlight reel of early Mastodon, without any of the self indulgence – think and album full of “Iron Tusk” and “March of the Fire Ants” with a dash of Helmet.

While Tim Lynam isn’t  as fill happy as Brann Dailor, he is a solid force behind the kit  fill, as are the rest of the members and when they settle into a nice groove or lurch, it’s oozes confidence. All of the short direct tracks deliver a darkly, groovy vibe with equal parts thrash, punk, groove and typical Philadelphia sneer. There’s ample heft  and busy angular grooves and occasional moments of slightly moodier loping. It’s all pretty short and to the point with only one of the songs going over 4 minutes or straying to far from the Mastodon-path. But overall I enjoyed the effort, as it’s full of great riffs  and at time borders on the heavier side of things reminding me of recently covered bands like Century, Encrust or Hummune, with  standouts being “Rustmaker”,”Floaters”, the excellently named “Little Marching Vipers”, and the more moody, lengthy closer “Breath of the Hourglass”, being a somber patient number.

There’s an honest, blue collar vibe to the band and this CD, so I’m glad they sent it to me for release- so you should go ahead and head to the band’s band camp page and pick up a copy of the digipack or do the whole download thing and find your self a nice little no frills, no bullshit metal record from a band who wont be on Warner Brothers any time soon,  thank goodness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 31st, 2012


  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    I still enjoy Mastodon’s later output but like most I miss the good old days of Remission and Leviathon. Judging by the samples these guys nail the sound pretty well without sounding too derivative. And 5 bucks for a download is pretty damn good.

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