Birch Hill Dam – Colossus
Birch Hill Dam is a stoner/doom/southern metal band from the north (North Billerica, MA) and apparently they are currently unsigned. After giving a listen to “Colossus” I cannot imagine they will stay unsigned long. This has got to be one of the best independent releases I’ve heard in awhile.
“Colossus” sounds to me like someone took some Pepper-era Corrosion of Conformity mixed it with some Acid Bath and Pantera/Down and seasoned it with a helping of Beyond the Embrace. It’s not particularly thrashy-heavy, it’s more of a super heavy riff COC heavy. At times the singer reminds me of the singer for Beyond the Embrace (I had to look up and make sure they weren’t the same person since they both are from MA) but most of the time he is much more melodic. Otherwise he really has his own sound. I am so digging this. It is heavy as balls but still catchy as hell. It makes me bang my head and sing along too.
Usually when I hear unsigned material I go into the experience expecting mediocre sound quality, only because, you know, they don’t have a label footing the bill for a fancy studio and producer. Though to be honest in this digital age that is really an outdated way to think, but regardless that is usually my first thought when I hear “unsigned”. Therefore I’m frequently surprised by how good the sound quality is, and this is one of those times. If you told me this album came out on a label I wouldn’t think twice about it; “Colossus” sounds a lot better than albums I’ve heard from good sized labels, so congrats to them on a job well done.
Did I mention they cover Twisted Sister’s “Burn in Hell”? Dimmu Borgir covered this song as well and they did a great job taking it over the top evil. So no knocking the Dimmu version, but this is a damn fine version as well. In fact it gave me goose bumps. Birch Hill Dam stick more to the original version’s sound only they make it heavy and modern and well…kind of creepy lol. Which is what this song deserves. You should check this out Dee, I think it’s a great tribute to one of my favorite bands from the 80s.
I highly recommend this album (which you can pick up on iTunes BTW). Somebody please sign these guys!