Marshall stacks that reach to the sky. Riffs that make your colon dance and your inner ears itch. My God, they are very, very heavy....

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London Camden Underworld

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London Camden Underworld

Marshall stacks that reach to the sky. Riffs that make your colon dance and your inner ears itch. My God, they are very, very heavy.

[a]Karma To Burn[/a], from Virginia, have a fearsomely reductivist approach to heavy metal you wish many of their contemporaries would follow. Having allegedly sacked their singer minutes before a gig for the entirely justifiable reason that he sounded like Ronnie James Dio, they’ve been an instrumental three-piece ever since. And one with no time for the wussy fripperies of song titles, preferring the utilitarian simplicity of numbers.

Similarly stripped of niceties, ‘8’ is a Sabbath-esque grindathon, ’30’ a balls-to-the-wall Led Zep ribcrusher and ’32’ a mushroom chow mein. With a side order of Hawkwind. Like all the very best metal bands, then, but even more brilliant thanks to the absence of the horrible whiney vocals that always ruined them. It’s an unrelenting assault by monstrous riffs. It’s ‘Stalingrad: The Musical’, but half-an-hour in you sort of wish it would stop. Just for a moment.

Because if Karma To Burn have one fault it’s the same thing that makes them so great: the fact that there’s absolutely no room for subtlety or extremes other than loud and heavy. But, hey, that’s wimps’ talk. Just for once, you can leave your brain at home.