Chrome Hoof: Chrome Black Gold
"When the Lightning Strikes"
Proving that the worlds of dirge-laden doom metal and electro-funk death-disco are less than a stone’s throw away, London’s Chrome Hoof prog it up and mix genres into a synth-heavy corkscrew of operatic — er, opera-erratic — rock music on its fourth full-length, Chrome Black Gold.
An ever-expanding psychedelic sci-fi orchestra helmed by Leo Smee (of Cathedral), Chrome Hoof on this album has tapped vocalist Shingai Shoniwa of UK indie rockers Noisettes as a guest on four tracks. Similar to that of Royal Thunder’s Miny Parsonz, Shoniwa’s voice is powerful but sultry.
On “Varkada Blues,” her hypnotic, lounge-swaying enunciations are a disarming foil to the guttural growls of another guest — Jeff Walker, the current bassist/vocalist of Carcass. The song is a good example of the genre blending for which the band is known; everything comes together in a brutal, other-worldly-sounding but entirely danceable, six-minute mix permeated by metronomic synthesizers that carry listeners through the outro. Another standout is “When the Lightning Strikes,” on which Shoniwa’s voice swoops like a vulture out of dark clouds amid a metallic but deeply classical crunch reminiscent of the Fucking Champs.
Overall, Chrome Black Gold collapses space and time and pries open listeners minds, continuously whetting them for the weird.