Words El Jefe.
Don Fernando’s latest LP is a ripping blast of stoner doom, chock fulla hot riffs, hotter sounds and epic playing. I love Sabbath as well as a shitload of the musical bastards they’ve spawned over the years and Don Fernando are up there with the best of them.
Some of the riffs are complex, and at other times just a battering ram plowing through the centre of your mind. There’s melody, tortured screams and dense, foreboding guitars. There’s a lot of cool interplay between the instruments that adds depth and texture too. Lyrically, they seem to be mainly dealing with personal issues, which I find adds to the emotional impact of the songs.
Kicking off with the title track, Haunted By Humans and its blast of dirty fuzz and Andy Simpson’s at times rasping vocals proves to be a signpost for the rest of the album.
Running and Hiding and its tasty feedback intro is a speedy tune with a sludge-fest breakdown tucked away in the middle.
They take a break from the bludgeoning with the Dead Meadow-esque Flight Of The Unknown. An eerie instrumental, with some subtle piano and a slight, jangling tambourine, its strategic position at the halfway point seems to work well, hinging the two “sides”.
The second half brings us more of the same, brutal but perfectly arranged monster riffs, although Motherload does have a slightly more laidback vibe and Know You Know could be Flight Of The Unknown’s older, uglier and meaner brother.
The gentler (relatively) Older is the parting shot on Haunted By Humans, purging us with some bluesy guitar and droning vocals.
Despite the heaviness, there are also plenty of catchy hooks and choruses on this record, making this a really great and absorbing record. They’ve progressed from 2011’s Dia De Los Muertos (I can’t comment on their debut as I haven’t heard it), and brought a few new party tricks with them, although I have to say I did find this a bit harder to get into, but once I did I was hooked.