posted on 2/2009 By:
Some bands are destined for cross-genre appeal—they blend elements from multiple styles into a cohesive whole that music fans of all sorts can enjoy. Spain’s Moho are emphatically not one of those bands. These guys are the exact opposite breed; they set out to please one highly specific, well-defined niche to the exclusion of everything else. Chotacabra, their third longplayer, is a study in abusive, filthy stoner sludge, and a precision study to boot.
Falling somewhere between the murky hatemongering of Eyehategod and more drugged-out but still thunderous stoner acts like Bongzilla or even Electric Wizard, Moho waste absolutely no time in getting to the point. Chotacabra is a string of predictable but satisfying riff beatdowns; nothing more and nothing less. Though the album opens with a few more rollicking up-tempo numbers (the title track and “San Mames”), Moho quickly revert to their modus operandi of slowed-down, blues-driven groove somewhere near the end of “Gargantor.” As Chotacabra carries on, the band seems to sink deeper and deeper into their pit of fuzzed-out distortion and trudging rhythms. Tracks like “Terror Ultramarino” and 16-minute blowout “Anciago,” despite their expected pacing and riff style, are almost impossibly dense and heavy. As usual with this style of metal, the presentation is at least as important as the songwriting, and Moho just about nail that component. Guitarist Raul and bassist Inaki both overload their amps with the expected abandon, and Inaki delivers a very Mike Williams-styled howl to boot. The standout, performance comes from drummer Edu, whose heavy-handed attack and surprisingly nimble sense of timing adds a lot of heft and aggression to these songs. The production deposits a healthy layer of muck over everything without really obscuring any one element, which is about all one can ask when it comes to this decidedly low-fi brand of metal.
There’s not much to be said by way of analysis regarding Moho or Chotacabra. This sludgy, filthy doom metal, performed by guys who clearly love doom metal, for the enjoyment of other guys who love doom metal. If you fall into that category, then hey, Chotacabra’s a well-executed specimen of the style and you’ll probably enjoy it, though it’s hardly a reinvention of the style (leave that to Giant Squid). However, there isn’t a whole lot of individual character to be found here, so those in the market for something with a little more idiosyncratic spark will probably be left cold by Chotacabra.
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