Navigating the Bronze
At first listen, Akimbo’s Navigating the Bronze smashes the skull like a sledge hammer. It’s heavy, it’s brutal, it’s nothing short of good metal. There are no weak singing breaks in the otherwise scream heavy vocals, and the music lets up for a second to allow the mind to breathe in the stench of stale beer before plowing into the next burst of aggression. It’s a keeper from the first kick off, but it’s not until the third or fourth spin that the Seattle band’s fifth disc reveals its true inner brilliance.
Seeped in the aftermath of grunge, Akimbo seem hell bent on burying the more mainstream side of Seattle’s past and re-establishing the Pacific Northwest as the hub of the sort of heavy metal that doesn’t need theatrics to get people’s attention. These guys are thinking along the lines of Jawbox, Helmet, or The Jesus Lizard. No gimmicks, just metal.
The three best moments within 40 minutes of heart-pounding bliss are: “Roman Coins” (almost three minutes worth of a drum solo that never tires), “Huge Muscles” (possibly the best sludge metal song to come out in the last five years), and “The Curse of King David” (a classically epic metal track that somehow recalls everything from Sabbath to Primus).