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Album Reviews

Green Hog Band: ‘Crypt of Doom’ Album Review

Green Hog Band, a heavy Stoner Doom trio from New York, doesn’t waste any time writing new material. The band basically lives in the studio, the Vivisector Lab—its own Heavy Metal workshop in Brooklyn.

A new, hellish creation from the lab dropped recently: Crypt of Doom. It’s the band’s third full-length album since 2020, and it’s another shining example of why Green Hog Band is a gem of a find in the Stoner Doom underground.

Ivan Antipov (vocals, bass) tells me bandmate Mike Vivisector (guitar) is constantly coming up with new riffs, writing sketched-out songs on video using his phone, then re-writing them in the studio. When you listen to Green Hog Band, it’s evident how talented Vivisector is at what he does.

Crypt of Doom is another excellent addition to Green Hog Band’s growing catalog and a tasty treat (or munchie) for Stoner Rock fans who dig classic acts like Electric Wizard and Acid King.

Green Hog Band's "Crypt of Doom" Album Cover

About Green Hog Band

The past couple of years haven’t been easy for Green Hog Band. They had a loss in the family, and they’re still recovering and healing, Antipov told me. However, they’ve managed to channel the grief into making more new music.

Green Hog Band has played a few shows since the pandemic started, one right before lockdown and a couple of others when things opened up. The band also played a “forest session,” an outdoor jam you can find on YouTube:

The band has released three LPs since coming together in 2019, though all three members had played together in previous acts. Devil’s Luck was released in 2021 and Dogs From Hell was the band’s debut LP in 2020.

Two of the band’s members are originally from Russia (which is why most of the vocals are in Russian), but they’ve lived in the U.S. for more than a decade.

Green Hog Band is:

  • Ivan Antipov – vocals and bass
  • Mike Vivisector – guitar
  • Ronan Berry – drums

Crypt of Doom Album Review

Tracks: 8
Length: 44:39

Track One: Dragon

“Dragon” is a standout track the band released in late February as a single, and it’s already racked up more than 7,400 plays on Spotify. And for a good reason. The riff is absolutely monstrous and the band’s favorite on the album because of the counterpoints between guitar and bass.

The track starts slow until exploding into sonic, frenzied madness, soon punctuated Antipov’s mean Russian vocals. This is no-holds-barred Stoner Metal straight from the bowels of Brooklyn and a preview of what’s to come.

Track Two: Iron Horses

Rev up the Harley for this one. “Iron Horses” is Berry’s (drums) favorite track because of how it flows, like a motorcycle blasting out of the inferno.

It’s the shortest track on the album, an instrumental burst of satanic energy with a groove-laden bassline and driving guitar. It also has Green Hog’s signature trademark of film audio clips scattered throughout, as a demented voice yells at the midway point, “Come forth now! The Prince of Hell!”

Track Three: Crypt of Doom

Green Hog digs deep into the abyss on “Crypt of Doom” and unleashes its most sludgy and sinister side. The album’s title track is absolutely evil and could be a new favorite for your next Black Mass ceremony.

Antipov says it’s his favorite track because it’s “an exploration to a new territory, expanding on the heavier side compared to what Green Hog Band made before.” He’s right. The tempo is slowed to a sickeningly beautiful sludge as Antipov growls (and perhaps warns us):

As soon as day will end again
My beast will start to look for you
From now on, he’ll go after you
Hunting for you on the witching hour

Track Four: Heavier Than Mercury

After being annihilated by “Crypt of Doom,” the next instrumental track gave me a bit of a break. “Heavier Than Mercury” starts with an audio clip of a blood-curling scream, then clocks in at more than five minutes and shows how talented these guys are. The entire song is basically an opportunity for Vivisector to show off his guitar chops as he rips a few solos over a head-nodding riff.

Track Five: Sweet Tea, Banana Bread

After songs like “Crypt of Doom,” this track jumps into a totally different style. This is about as poppy as Green Hog gets, a rather whimsical song where Antipov sings in English about getting stoned, chilling, and listening to tunes.

It’s an unusual track for Green Hog Band. It even features some cowbell near the end, from what I could tell! It just goes to show that even Stoner Doomheads have to kick back and let loose sometimes.

Track Six: Leviathan

It’s back to our regularly scheduled Green Hog programming with “Leviathan,” a heavy and menacing Doom track and the longest on the album. An early Black Sabbath-like riff drones on over Antipov’s threatening rumble as he sings about the ancient sea serpent noted throughout history in theology and mythology.

Vivisector writes all the band’s lyrics, and they mostly come from “smoke-infused daydreaming,” according to the band. “Some of the dark poetry is woven together with archetypes and the collective unconscious,” Antipov told me.

Nowhere is the link to the dark side of the unconscious more evident than in the lyrics of “Leviathan.” The sea monster has been referenced throughout human history in several books of the Hebrew Bible, often as the embodiment of chaos threatening to eat the damned in the underworld. In Christian theology, Leviathan is identified with the demon of envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

Antipov resurrects the primeval beast as he sings:

Leviathan – an ancient beast from the depths
His kingdom is hidden from the sight of men
Of the dark abyss he is master
Great underwater serpent

Track Seven: New Year Massacre

After the smoke-filled, mythological tale of “Leviathan,” Green Hog Band breaks up the action with another instrumental track. “New Year Massacre” is a nice change of pace, a little over five minutes of jamming.

Along with the guitar solos and riffage, the sound of a chainsaw can be heard at times, harkening back to Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series. It’s obvious these guys are horror movie buffs.

Track Eight: Day After

Crypt of Doom wraps up with “Day After,” which starts on a somber, melodic note but quickly pushes into the band’s signature heaviness.

Reading the lyrics, I got the sense Green Hog was processing the grief of their recent family loss and perhaps the gloominess of the past couple of years of pandemic lockdowns, protests, riots, and general societal craziness. “Day After” is played with passion and energy and works well as a closing track.

Final Thoughts

Final Score: 9/10

Standout Tracks: “Crypt of Doom,” “Dragon,” “Leviathan”

Pros: Green Hog Band just keeps getting better. Crypt of Doom is another killer album for the Brooklyn-based stoners, drawing on a wide range of influences lyrically and musically. It’s evident the band spends tons of time in the studio because the recording is extremely clean, loud, and a sonic feast.

Crypt of Doom is similarly heavy, groove-laden, and sludgy as Green Hog’s previous albums. The record also melds together several themes and concepts, touching on mythology and ancient folk and horror.

Green Hog Band is always working on new material, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they come up with next.

Cons: The only track I didn’t like so much was “Sweet Tea, Banana Bread,” but even this one has grown on me. It felt a little out of place for a band that sings about sea serpents and dragons, even though I enjoyed seeing the Stoner Doom rockers fooling around. It can’t be gloom and doom all the time.

Learn More About Green Hog Band

To learn more about Green Hog Band, visit their Bandcamp page and check out their social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

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