When people think of South Dakota they think of the Sturgis Rally, dirty bikers and debauchery, what they don’t think of is aggressive metal. EARTH GROANS set out to change that over the last three or four years, and their new EP Rahab (out now, Solid State Records) does just that. This roughly 18-minute EP is nothing short of amazing.
While it is not a concept album, it does have a very powerful theme of the notion of facing your giants and opening track “Heathen Heart” sets the pace and tone for the whole thing. Within the first 20 seconds of the song the band already has you aggressively bobbing your head to the drum beat while vocalist Jeremy Schaeffer shows off his lung capacity with his raspy aggressive vocal style. With the song being fast-paced, the breakdown around the two minute and twelve second mark provides a much needed breather even if it’s only twenty seconds long. The band smoothly transitions into “Allure”, a slower but still immensely heavy song that fits well within the framework.
The band switch into overdrive with “Reign” which features a guest appearance from vocalist JT Cavey of ERRA and a barrage of powerful guitar and bass tones thanks to Zachariah Mayfield and Kaden Burton respectively. “Avarice” serves as the shortest song of the album but is easily one of the most aggressive and in your face tracks while closer “By Faith” my be the most hardcore sounding track out of the five. Drummer Bradley Mueller is easily one of the hardest working members of the band, having to keep up with the multiple tempo changes in the tunes.
Over all these four guys from South Dakota have made a big statement in only eighteen minutes and are a force to be reckoned with. EARTH GROANS is definitely a band that is accessible to fans of multiple sub-genres of metal.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM
-BRIAN “TORCH” IDELL