Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II (Ubiquity)
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., Nov. 25, 2016
Swirling Latin funk into Black Sabbath's dark arts distortion sounds like a gimmick, but Brownout channeling the British outfit by appending its Afro-Latin psychedelia on Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II succeeds like scant few other unholy alliances. Reworking Ozzy Osbourne and company's genre-birthing doom, Brownout's initial stab at the Sabs appeared in 2014, a cosmic cantina throwdown replete with "N.I.B." and heavy-lidded salsa meander "Planet Caravan." The ninepiece continues reworking the metal gods' Seventies catalog (Master of Reality to Sabotage) by injecting a border crack to the proceedings, most notably the ricocheted bullet congas of "Supernaut" and "Sweet Leaf," squealing horn marches in "Electric Funeral," and crashed percussion bombardment on "Fairies Wear Boots." Offshoot of orchestral kings Grupo Fantasma, Brownout's booming horn section and fuzz riffs intertwine like sinewy limbs in "Snowblind," and thrash metal palm mutes crescendo to chaotic vacillations of congas, hi-hats, and tom-toms in "Symptom of the Universe." Frontman Alex Marrero voices an eerie replica of Ozzy on "Children of the Grave," but backing instrumental powerhouse Brownout proves Brown Sabbath Vol. II anything but a stunt.