Hogbitch’s self-titled debut lays the foundation for the band’s self-described “ur-metal” genre. Dark and primal enough to win over even the most jaded doom metal fan, but with enough psychedelic, heavy blues and Kraut rock sensibilities to grab a broader range of sonically adventurous listeners. Imagine if Patti Smith had actually sung on those first three Blue Oyster Cult albums instead of just contributing lyrics. Or if Hawkwind, rather than firing Lemmy in the mid ‘70s, had ceded him more artistic control.
The 11 songs here range from riff-driven epics (“Slaves of the Ether”) to death-rattle blues (“Rats in the Walls”) with detours into space rock (“Black Corridor”) and noisy deconstruction (“Consumptive Sun”). Engineered by South Texas metal legend Bobdog Catlin (S.A. Slayer, Pigface, et al.), who gives the proceeding the heft you’d expect.