This Runs on Blood mixes dingy waves of low frequency riffs with cacophonous howls and screams. It's a fiercely addictive combination, reminiscent of the San Francisco sludge metal duo Black Cobra but with the driving immediacy of Seattle punk-metallers Zeke. And, as with both those bands, this Flagstaff, Ariz. trio keeps it short and to the point, with an eponymous seven track EP clocking in at a swift 22 minutes.
At least these boys make use of their time. Guitarist Johnny Casebeer and drummer Greg Casebeer deftly unleash a grinding assault of bleak and sludgy instrumentals. Singer Josh Williams' hellbent screams evoke the Germ's Darby Crash but with an added texture, like a throat full of broken glass. And though you can't tell what he's singing about, his galvanic crowing flawlessly complements the dirge-y soundscapes.
If This Runs on Blood sounds anything like their album when they play live, I expect the crowd will be furiously rocking their heads and pumping their fists in unison to the aggressive sea of sound. Bring the ear plugs.
This Runs on Blood play Total Fest Sat., Aug. 22, at 12:30 AM at the Palace.