HERE LIES MAN

You Will Know Noth­ing

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - JOE DALY

RID­ING EASY NYC’s Afro-Sab­bath groove wiz­ards ex­pand their vi­sion

in an era where metal mash-ups of Marvin Gaye and Bee Gees clas­sics com­mand mil­lions of hits on YouTube, Here Lies Man’s 2017 self-ti­tled full-length de­but found an open-minded and ea­ger au­di­ence for its resinous hy­brid of Black Sab­bath-meets-afrobeat. Com­prised of mem­bers of New York City’s An­tibalas, Here Lies Man sum­moned a mes­meris­ing sound­scape of Nige­rian afrobeat grooves and thud­ding pri­mal rhythms on which they lay­ered scuzzy, Iommi-in­spired riffs and spi­ralling psy­che­delic melodies. The weird­ness of the con­cept – two seem­ingly un­re­lated gen­res fused to­gether – dis­tracted from just how good it sounded, which should have sur­prised no­body be­cause at the root of both styles is a deep rhyth­mic rev­er­ence to blues and R&B, yet the de­but still felt both sub­tly in­no­va­tive and fresh. On their lat­est out­ing, the groove tech­ni­cians dial back the Sab­bath wor­ship a bit, which ac­tu­ally marks an evo­lu­tion­ary step for­ward for the sound.

Riffs no longer dom­i­nate but rather play re­cur­ring roles through­out the tracks. Open­ing with the head­bang­ing proto-metal squall of An­i­mal Noises, You Will Know Noth­ing dis­si­pates and ex­pands into an ethe­real psy­che­delic voy­age, with tracks like Float­ing On Wa­ter and You Ought To Know play­ing out on the spacey side and Tak­ing The Blame and Sum­mon Fire balanc­ing things at the other end of the spec­trum. The essence of each track is its own driv­ing, per­cus­sive rhythm, which is the heart­beat of all psychedeli­a. That said, a com­mon pit­fall of psych mu­sic is its sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to in­dul­gent, generic jam­ming, which you’ll find here in mod­est doses. Co-founded by gui­tarist Mar­cos Gar­cia and drum­mer Ge­off Mann, the tracks rely on pro­gres­sively slower tem­pos that cor­re­spond to an Afro-Cuban rhyth­mic for­mula known as the clave. Google it. But this record isn’t about count­ing beats or math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tions – this is an in­ter­est­ing rhyth­mic con­cept teased out in some gen­uinely fas­ci­nat­ing di­rec­tions. Well worth a lis­ten – prefer­ably through head­phones.

FOR FANS OF: MR BUN­GLE, GOAT, GOATESS

Here Lies Man: left turns ahead

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