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Chris Owens revisits one of the harder punk bands to come out of the hellhole that was Belfast in 1978

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Five Will Die | ‘Slung From A Tree’


Cork’s Five Will Die are putting in solid work on the ground, and there’s certainly no arguing with support slots to Mastodon, which rockers down there will have caught recently. They seem like the kind of band that work better in the live environment, when beer and atmosphere can soak up a performance’s finer points. Just as well – because to these ears, sadly it’s just too generic and underdeveloped on record.

After tens and tens of spins, I just can’t warm to what the band are doing. There are several reasons. One is the vocals. Though they’re ‘correct’ for their sludgy genre, and impressive for managing to faithfully recreate the sound of a man gargling wet cement, they’re just too one dimensional and basic. Every line follows the turn of the riff, almost without exception. There’s no variety, no invention and nothing that could even come close to being called dynamic. Just dun, dun, dun, delivered on the beat, every beat. It’s a lot to ask, and makes otherwise decent tracks like ‘Black Cloud’ almost unbearable.

Musically, things could be better too. No riff rises above the average, and the playing is at times ropey as well. Fine, within a style that isnt concerned as much with technique and control as plain rocking out – but in spite of this, several rough edges do need polished. It’s just a bit lumpen. There’s no touch, no spark and even save for exceptional passages, little by way of real emotion.

There are moments when the band come into their own. Despite the monotony of the vocals, the aforementioned ‘Black Cloud’ really does take on a doomed weight that gets some real feel going. ‘Bastard Grinder’ also shows promise in the rising development of the song from start to finish – again with the unfortunate caveat of extremely one-dimensional vocal patterns.

You either love or hate this sweaty, caveman style of bouncing, mulchy doom-lite, given how little tracks like ‘In The Blood’ have to offer to anywhere except a heaving live venue. Five Will Die certainly arent the chief offenders either; to this day Triggerman’s musical appeal confounds me equally as much. So perhaps its just a taste issue, and granted, ‘The Ballad Of Von Blunden’ is one example where this band’s style definitely gets it right on all levels.

The rest though is just too basic, too unrewarding and far from inspiring. I’d contend that had this been a three track demo of their best gear rather than an eight song splurge, it would be much more appealing. That, and remedying the vocal timing is something they’re going to have to take on board as time progresses, given that their two or three good tracks deserve a wide hearding. It would be a shame if so much other dead weight stopped that from happening.

Earl Grey ::: 14/12/08


7 Comments
  1. Woohoo!!!

    Appreciate the honesty, we’re stubborn cunts tho, so we’l stick to our guns. Tis a 9-track splurge, not an 8-track. We did the 4-track demo thing (Year of the Dead), so an album was due.

    I think you definitely get what we’re trying to do, but I can see it doesnt appeal to you at all. Lack of emotion, Rough edges, Lumpen and Doom ridden, monotonous vocal patterns (we’d say relentless), all things we’d find positive, but its good to get an honest review like this, so sound boi!

  2. I’D HAVE TO DISAGREE
    BUT THEN I’M FROM CORK BOI
    WHEN YOU HAVE SEEN 5 WILL DIE A HUNDRED TIMES LIVE YOU GROW TO LOVE EM HE HE

    BANDS LIKE DISTRUCTION DON’T DO ANYTHING FOR ME ON CD
    AND WHEN THEY PLAY LIVE THEY BLOW MY MIND.

    RELENTLESS CUNTS BE 5 WILL DIE
    AND THATS FUCKING METAL IN MY VIEW.
    SITTING AT HOME WANKING TO DVDS OF GIGS
    IS NOT METAL AND MOST BANDS DON’T COME ACROSS THAT WELL ON CD ANYHOW

    LIVE IS WHERE ITS AT
    AND REALITY IS MUCH MORE THAN A REVIEW

    SEE THESE CUNTS LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE

    NATASLIAH666

  3. Good man Natasliah, theres a guy who has seen us live more than most…|M|

    Alternative review:

    from http://www.myspace.com/doommetalunion

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Review of the album “Slung From a Tree” by Five Will Die

    Listening to Five Will Die’s album “Slung From a Tree”, its hard to believe that it is their first album. They have the tag of sludge metal, but their is so much more to their sound. Stoner rock, post rock segments, traditional doom stylings amongst other sounds give the band a rather progressive style to their approach at sludge. The songs are skillfully written and performed with hooks all over the place to keep the listener locked in.

    What stands out most about Five Will Die is the monstrous vocals by a monster of a man. The vocals sound like he is drowning in frustration, which compliments the rest of the band beautifully as they move through the motions. The album sounds like the soundtrack to a tortured soul working out his demons and learning to cope with life. Black Cloud would definately be the albums standout track. While still brutal to the core, it displays an underlying gentleness that manages to bring emotions to the surface. The track itself is a great sample of the bands general sound, and can only imagine what it would be like to see it performed live.

    I listened to the album for eight hours straight at work to map out this review. It wasnt until that I got home that I thought about it, and the fact that I cant recall the last time I was able to listen to one album for such a long stretch of time. So much goes on in the album that it manages to stay fresh. The band has put together a great debut, and I look forward to what a second release will bring.

  4. Another review to let people know that we’re not shit and some people actually get what we do…|m|

    This is the debut album from these crushers from Cork, an Irish five-piece who were formed back in 2005 and after initial adjustments have been settled with this line-up for the last two and a half years. It follows on from the ‘Year Of The Dead’ demo and provides them with a full-length recording to take out on the hardworking gig agenda that they appear to pursue.

    It’s grinding, sludgy and progressive doom that takes you by the throat and explains why you should buy them a beer. It’s the bruising and demonically slow riffage that grinds eardrums into a powdery sludge and irresistibly gets your head banging with careless abandoned. It’s a portrait of a bleak outlook framed by annoyance and found barely clinging to the wall by the thin thread of life’s provocation.

    Standout tracks include “Fivewilldie”, “In The Blood”, “Bastard Grinder”, above all “On Your Knees” and particularly “Black Cloud”, which shows added depth and character to their sound. It begins with a gentle opening that soon detonates into a crushing riff, infectiously battering its way into your mind and reigning control without mercy. It’s a strangely intense song that somehow retains an emotional element within its heaviness, a kind of inner beauty that emanates from an undeniably ugly shape. It’s a sentiment that also comes across strongly with “On Your Knees” and definitely shows the way forward for the bands sound.

    You can’t complain at an album full of riffs that would have fitted comfortably on an early Black Sabbath album, accompanied by vocals played through a second-hand and heavily tattered larynx. And those vocals feature as impressively as the riffs, the bloodcurdling bellows that resonate the very foundations on which you stand. Deep, deathly, throat tearing roars delivered with such power you feel that anyone weighing less than nine stone may get physically blown away.

    Downtuned doomcore is one of those things in music, which if you are going to get it then you don’t need it explaining, but if you need it explaining then you’re just not going to get it! Hmm, yes, a bit like that sentence really…! Okay this is crude, unrefined and at times a little flaky but largely it doesn’t matter and actually the rawness adds an important part to the overall sound, that without would significantly change the character of this band for the worse. And that is something that shouldn’t be changed, because this is an excellent debut from a very promising band.

    12345678910 – Dave Yates (6th March, 2009)
    http://www.iwillbeheard.co.uk

  5. One of the best bands in the country, amazing energy live and cracking tunes to boot. Go on the lads!!!

  6. 5 will die are amazing the engery from them when they play cant be beat and there a\ll fuckin nutters i been at few der gigs now limerick,nenagh,kildare,clomnel and there sound bunch lads and amazing when on that stage

  7. […] Will Die on stage a few months back proved to be a cool thing to do. Not least because I absolutely hammered their last cd, which I still maintain was a really underdeveloped and pretty boring release. Seeing them live, […]

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