I don't know how many Elk roam the territory surrounding Portland, Oregon but I would have to say that this Black one from the area has to be the loudest and maybe the most obnoxious.
A barrage of crunching guitar at maximum distortion is the key to what makes this band tick. Pretty much drowning out everything else, this wave of six string noise is an unrelenting assault upon the ears that never lets up over the ten songs on the disc. While the album starts out with a very good metal thrashing called "My Last Shred of Decency" and even gets better with the next song "Hospital" (the best track on the album), the disc does a nose dive from there that stumbles along with music that is ambivalent as to where it wants to go. The result is a miss mash that is quite honestly, boring.
Songs like "Pig Crazy" and "Winter Formal" has some really cool sections to them but then they decide to take the songs in directions that should never have been explored. This is a case of a band trying to hard to be cool. If they would have stuck to what they do best, this would have been a much more enjoyable record.
Take for instance the song "Brine". Starting out with a very dark haunting acoustic work that sets a very ominous tone, it slides into a stoner/doom quagmire that gets old very quickly. Pull out the old Sabbath and hear it done right!
I bet that there is some who will find this something to their liking but after giving it ample opportunity to grow on me, it just never did. The band does have talent and at times they do pull off some great ideas but never seem to be able to keep them going for a whole song. This is definitely one for the short attention span theater crowd.
1. My Last Shred of Decency
3. Pig Crazy
4. The Brazen Bull III
6. She Pulled Machete
8. The Brazen Bull II
9. Hold My Head
10. Winter Formal