Here at Worship Metal we’ve been keeping a beady eye on brit hopefuls 1968 since their sophomore EP Fortuna Havana rocked our ears at the start of last year. The time has now come for them to unleash their debut album upon the great unwashed and, thankfully, it lives up to all expectations!
Looking back, Fortuna Havana initially had us slightly perplexed and we went on to describe them as “a group of lads in thrall to the arse end of the 60’s but with a sound that’s surprisingly contemporary and not at all the kind of throwback we were expecting. Instead, their sound is firmly rooted in modern alternative rock with nods here and there to the likes of Black Sabbath and Corrosion Of Conformity”.
So, what to expect this time around?
Well, it only takes one listen to Ballads Of The Godless to realise that not only have the lads got that little bit heavier ….they’ve upped their game in every conceivable department as well!
Opener “Devilswine” is brash and confidant, built around a rollicking great riff courtesy of guitarist Sam Orr, and as Jimi Ray lets loose with his bluesy leonine roar (there’s a hint of Chris Cornell in his husky delivery but his soulful pipes actually recall the best the 70’s had to offer), it’s pretty damn clear that 1968’s mix of stoner metal, doom, early 90’s grunge and classic psychedelia has reached new highs.
As good as the opening number is, it’s a pleasure to say that the quality remains for the entire duration of Ballads Of The Godless. From the bong-addled “Temple Of The Acidwolf” to a woozy psychedelic “Chemtrail Blues”, the (bong) hits just keep on coming.
As with their previous releases, it’s easy to hear the influence of Corrosion Of Conformity and if you enjoyed No Cross, No Crown (a previous Worship Metal Album of the Week no less!) then Ballads Of The Godless is the album for you. With their full length debut album, 1968 have shown that they are more than capable of holding their own with the big boys, and if there’s any justice in the world we should be hearing a lot more from these talented guys in the future. 8/10