Limb - _Limb_
(New Heavy Sounds, 2014)
by: Paul Schwarz (6 out of 10)
Not quite all downhill from the moment you take the beautiful brown gatefold out of its shrink wrap, the full-length debut from Leeds hopefuls Limb is nonetheless surpassed by its art. Like something Jon Buscema did on his own time during the halcyon days when "The Savage Sword of Conan" was all the rage -- for a comic that one imagines was to be called "Skull Wizard": I'm itching to read it now! -- Richey Beckett's beautiful draftsmanship beckons one to open the gates to something magical. The let down is intense.

For those who heard last year's three-track 7", not only is there nothing new on Limb, the sound of the album is tamer, almost anodyne. Hitting its lowest point with first side closer "Night & Void" -- another Sabbath-worshipping song with lyrics about killing women by strangulation the world did not need -- it is with trepidation that the LP is flipped. However, there is promise to be found on side B: we shouldn't write off Limb just yet. "El Salvaclaw" gets slow and brooding essentially right -- the clean production finally doing something useful -- while the one-two of "LXXXVI" and "Never Speak Ill of the Dead" (the latter an unexpected whiplash lasting a mere minute) readies one for a fine finale. Sadly, "Vathek" is a tiresome trawl through Uncle Acid-light territory. It's tolerable, but for the second time, hopes only recently raised are swiftly dashed. Allegedly much more impressive live, Limb have left themselves with a lot to prove. Perhaps a live-in-the-studio EP might be a good next move?

(article published 30/5/2014)


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