Proto-metal was/is a term coined to describe a sound that came about when bands ploughing a furrow in the fields of blues rock and psychedelia found that the use of the newer, bigger, louder amps, made by companies like Marshall etc., produced a heavier sound with more bottom end, more distortion and more volume! The sound that these bands created with this new technology merged elements of late 60's psychedelic rock with elements of electrified blues creating a sound that was harder, edgier and louder than what had gone before and paved the way for a genre of music that would soon take over the world. That genre,we now call heavy metal, had a mother and today we know her as proto-metal or to give her full name....prototype metal.
Today a few bands are rediscovering those early 70's fledgling bluesy metal grooves and sprinkling them with a few ideas of their own, one of these bands comes from the UK and goes by the name of... Regulus.
"Regulus" takes up perfectly where "Smoke" left off, except where "Smoke" was a little raw and untamed "Regulus" is a little smoother and focused, the rough edges have been rubbed down a little and the sound is more streamlined and direct. Production-wise the sound on this EP is crisper, cleaner and sharper, whereas the guitars where a little blunted in the mix on "Smoke" here they are razor sharp and bright, vocals also benefit, being a liitle less upfront and nestled into the mix rather than over it. Do not fear though that Regulus (the band) have lost any of that feral intensity that may have drawn you to them in the first place, there is still that air of chaos and glorious looseness to their grooves that made "Smoke" and first two EP's "The End" and "Titan Moon" such a joy to listen to.
Songs like "Son of a Witch" and "Blunderbuss" throb with powerful proto-metal pulses over which bluesy guitar solos soar and vocals rasp and roar, all four members firing on all cylinders. It may be a contradiction in terms but to be able to play this loose and with this amount of delicious swagger a band have to be tight and Regulus are as tight as a Scotsman's fist throughout this glorious EP.
Looking forward to hearing a lot more from these guys.....