Dropping XXL riffs with enough roadhouse twang to put Tony Iommi into a cowboy hat and bolo tie, Chili Cold Blood dials its Texas doom boogie to Seventies metal in a Southern Gothic style on album No. 7. Pedal steel delinquent Ethan Shaw and axeman Doug Strahan, both respectable pickers with a penchant for overdrive, lay down Goliath pentatonic melodies that stretch and snap like rubber bands, great when railing in unison behind groove drummer Matt Puryear and better when they trade blows like in the lantern-lit "Graveyard" jam. Shaw's deep, demon-summoning moan stands out on patient tracks like "Past Savior," while Strahan's high, coarse, cocaine wail adds aggression to rippers like "In the Neon." Lyrically, CCB remains generally fatalistic, covering unspecified aspects of death, suicide, battle, and doomsday, yet they articulate such matters with impressive eloquence. And Now the Dawn lacks diversity, which limits its appeal, but if you like dark tones, stoner metal riffs, and Southern rock touches, you'll raise a fist.
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