We’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of albums and EPs here at Monster Riff, but few have blown us away on a first listen like Earl of Hell’s Get Smoked EP. Raucous, fast-paced, and packed with heavy riffs, Get Smoked bucks like a stallion and powers forward like a GTO over the desert highways.
On Earl of Hell’s debut EP, the band channels Black Sabbath, Kyuss, The Stooges, and Motörhead and combines them into a unique Stoner Rock brew—taking powerful riffs and idiosyncratic solos and pumping them through growling amplifiers at hypnotizing speeds.
But those aren’t the only reasons Earl of Hell has established itself as a can’t-miss act on the live circuit in numerous UK venues. Get Smoked is an EP filled with surprises, including beautiful string arrangements and unexpected voiceovers. And while these are unexpected on a first listen, Earl of Hell makes it all work together, delivering an unforgettable debut.
About Earl of Hell
The Earl of Hell quartet formed in Edinburgh, Scotland during the 2020 pandemic, channeling a common love of all things heavy—including Classic Rock, Punk, Metal, and melodramatic vintage horror (which greatly influences their overall aesthetic).
Earl of Hell is:
- Eric Brock – Vocals
- Lewis Inglis – Guitar
- Dean Gordon – Bass
- Ryan Wilson – Drums
Earl of Hell’s Get Smoked EP Review
Release Date: April 29, 2022
Label: Slightly Fuzzed Records
Track 1 – Hang ‘em High
“Hang ‘em High” roars in like the intro like a live Metallica track, and while you’ll occasionally hear screeches of James Hetfield and the Southern Industrial swagger of Rob Zombie throughout the rest of the song, “Hang ‘em High” is a complex blend of Stoner Rock and Punk Rock energy. This is a fast-paced opener with relentless grooves and pulsing bass lines, and this is also the first time we hear Earl of Hell’s idiosyncratic approach to songwriting—something delivered most clearly in their guitar solo.
Track 2 – Parasite
“Parasite” rips and roars like a song straight off the Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtrack, with those barking vocals and quick, palm-muted power chord riffs punctuated by screeching guitars. As with “Hang ‘em High,” this song moves quickly, and again we hear a unique approach to the song’s guitar solo—which is quickly followed up by layered vocals that mark the end of the song.
Track 3 – I Am the Chill
“I Am the Chill” is the first track rooted almost entirely in Stoner Rock, and you might even mistake the first minute or so for a Hermano track. As with Hermano, we find occasional tinges of Southern Rock influences. But as we approach the guitar solo, we find the slightest tinge of a haunting Psychedelic Rock, which is fitting for the song’s subject matter.
Track 4 – Bitter Fruits
“Bitter Fruits” opens on strings that sound vaguely of Rammstein (think “Mein Herz Brennt”). This is a beautifully touching song—at first, but then it makes a left turn into Earl of Hell’s unique take on Metal. Those violin strings continue throughout the song, offering a tense, frenetic movement in the background as the band presses on. It’s a big risk to add that into an EP like Get Smoked, but the effect works overall.
Track 5 – Blood Disco
“Blood Disco” has all of the skater punk energy of “Parasite” with those punchy, shouted vocals in the verses balanced with those booming, layered vocal tracks in the chorus. This is an incredibly fun track, and it’s no wonder Earl of Hell chose “Blood Disco” as another single.
Track 6 – Kill the Witch
“Kill the Witch” holds Get Smoked‘s final surprise. Although the band is influenced by the horror genre, we haven’t seen them dip into the supernatural world of witchcraft—until now. A woman’s voice on “Kill the Witch” sounds evil, but she’s actually delivering an old Spanish toasting spell that’s performed ceremoniously while making Queimada, an alcoholic punch believed to purify those who drink it. Ultimately, “Kill the Witch” is a fun, high-energy song pulling inspiration from a variety of sources.
Final Thoughts on Earl of Hell’s Get Smoked
Final Score: 9/10
Standout Tracks: “Hang ‘Em High,” “I Am the Chill,” and “Kill the Witch”
Pros: In a genre that can be rightfully criticized for its repetition, Earl of Hell offers something fresh, and we’re not just talking about the string arrangement in “Bitter Fruits” or the voiceovers in “Kill the Witch.” Earl of Hell plays with an infectious energy that translates through every note, driving each song forward with an exhilarating fury. And because the band pulls influences from a variety of sources, there’s something here for a variety of metalheads.
Cons: Get Smoked loses points for cohesiveness. While the first half of this record is a combination of Stoner/Industrial/Punk Metal, the second half of the EP experiments with a variety of influences, using “Bitter Fruits” and “Kill the Witch” to experiment with the far edges of Earl of Hell’s sounds. And while these songs are superb in their own right, they’re in stiff juxtaposition to the rest of Get Smoked’s relatively straightforward Stoner Rock energy. In time, though, I suspect Earl of Hell will continue to iron out these issues by developing a unique and cohesive sound.