Underground Sounds: Battle Hag – Tongue of the Earth

Label: Transylvanian Tapes
Band: Battle Hag
Origin: United States

Battle Hag seems like a D&D players fantasy, but don’t be mislead by the peculiar artwork. This band from Sacramento crushes on their debut album. After a demo in 2015, the ‘Tongue of the Earth’ album is their tectonic offering to the world of heavy doom metal. A worthy effort indeed. It’s only out on tape, so that’s quite an interesting thing as well.

The music of the group seems to be inspired by the big, lurching sound of modern doom. Thematically there’s a Lovecraftian eschatological abyss lurking in their sound and words. The record was recorded in Earth Tone Studios in Sacramento by Patrick Hills.

The sound progresses slowly, with minute shifts and heavy, cumbersome movements. Ginormous riffs create a monolithical heaviness to the sound, but the crushing effects are minimal, as the band chooses for a more languid flow in their sound on ‘Necronomichron’. A twelve minute lasting behemoth of a track, it is completely impossible to resist its flow. More force is on the next track, ‘The Book of Thoth’ with gurgling vocals and abyssal riffs that reach for the heavens in despair.

Battle Hag sounds odly melodic at times, not simply relying on being heavy to create their maximum impact sound. The flow of the sound feels weary and haggard at times, The drums take on odd, almost shamanic rhythms  at times, like on ‘The Tower of Silence’. As if they form a summoning rite for a foreboding storm or a dark ritual. The band likes to add subtle things to the music, to enhance its impact. The cavernous vocal effects on the aforementioned song for example, while riffs seem to evoke a torrentous feeling at the same time really work.

Battle Hag offers a great debut full of little surprises. You’ll find something every time you spin this one.

Share Button