The Mighty Nimbus
posted on 2/2005 By:
A night with the impressive debut from The Mighty Nimbus reminds me of a lesson in drunkenness I learned quite young: some people just have no business drinking whiskey. In Kentucky, we drink a lot of bourbon—a lot as in, until it’s gone (after all, they make the shit here). However, some people, people who are otherwise mild mannered and the life of the party, have some kind of fucked up Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde reaction to whiskey, and next thing you know your buddy who was telling jokes and buying rounds a minute ago is now picking fights with signposts. This band’s debut album is a fitting soundtrack to a night with that guy, and guys a whole lot worse. The Mighty Nimbus, formed by members from Alabama Thunderpussy and the defunct Sixty Watt Shaman, kick off their album with, “Everything I See”, a barroom anthem that starts the disc/night off with laid back southern groove. It’s beer drinking music sure to make you raise your fists and nod along in approval. However a couple of songs in the band takes a darker turn, trading the southern groove for biting sludge and doom. And if “Everything I See” is a drinking buddy, by the time the crawling, venomous “Sacrament of the Sick” oozes forth, that same guy is barely recognizable. Tanked on bourbon and barbiturates, eyes completely blood shot, with bloodied knuckles and piss dribbles on his boot, this guy is on the meanest of drunks.
It took a few spins for this to really get its claws in me, but it was worth the wait. I certainly never disliked it, it just wasn’t clear if it would distinguish itself from the pack, like genre heavyweights Down, Beaten Back to Pure, Crowbar, St. Vitus, and the original bands of the The Mighty Nimbus boys. The band’s ace in the hole is front man Dan Soren, who can simply do it all. He adds to TMN the same advantage Phil Anselmo gave Down—he can bellow, sing, growl, and screech, and sound within range at all times. His layered and dynamic performances on tracks like “Impose My Will” provide a tangible, soulful guttiness that adds immeasurably to the impact of the songs. Not to belittle the music though, the Iommi worshipping riffs usually have more than enough weight. “I’ll Never Weep” combines some of the best vocal and riffing performances. Soren belts out impassioned lines, while “Minnesota” Pete Campbell lays down a blazing descending doom riff. Similarly, “Broken Hoof” is a perfect mixture of caustic sludge and syncopated, mid-tempo ragged gallop. The band is marginally less effective when they slow to a near crawl on “Sacrament of the Sick” and the last track, a cover of St. Vitus’ “Born Too Late”. The second to last track, however, is the deathblow. “Eclipse” is churning, not quite mid-tempo doom for most of the track. I especially like the pounding drumming and active cymbal work on this song. The riffing is thick and grimy and the vocals a garbled roar. The track plods and simmers for four minutes, then the band breaks into a two minute outro of heavy, chugging riffs punctuated by violent crashing chords that seem to slice through the underbelly of the sludge, spilling the acrid hateful mess. It’s a powerful and fantastic transition.
This album should be well received by fans of the genre. Not everyone will be blown away, but it’s doubtful that fans of this music will find much to complain about either. The Mighty Nimbus is off to a good start and will most likely grow into a significant noisemaker within the genre. A very solid purchase.
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