Two piece big heavy hardcore group Big Business have spent the last decade as members of The Melvins, and you can imagine what that has done to their sound. That sludge apprenticeship means that Battlefields Forever has a huge amount of low grinding weight to it: mmmmmmmmm, delicious. On Solar Flare Records.

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Battlefields Forever by Big Business
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7/10 Robin 16 April 2015

I remember being pretty crushed when I found out that Melvins wasn’t the project of one quaint man named Melvin -- a disappointment second only to realising that Destroyer and Pig Destroyer weren’t the same thing -- but I’m glad for the surplus of band members after hearing them spread their wings for this gloomy lil side-project. If you like your Melvins crushingly slow, then note that two people who make those slow songs are sick and tired of being disenfranchised stoners -- Jared Warren and Coady Willis have used Big Business to make a dynamic record that moves with whatever metal momentum they can muster.

‘Battlefields Forever’ opens with a storm before the calm; before we can settle into a slightly more straightforward record, we get “Chump Chance”, a song so disorientingly rapid I thought I put it on at 45rpm, even though I’m listening to it on a CD. The grandiosity is assured -- this is metal for musicals, with a riff that sounds like it’s trying to outrun the guitar it’s being played on. From there, they pedal it back a bit, but keep things catchy and quick. Or maybe the quickness is a slight of hand, and it’s just that the riffs are so darned enjoyable that the songs around them fly by.

The vox are nice metal; clean, well polished, emulating the later and more straightforward years of Mastadon for their well-articulated soapboxing. There’s still some evil waiting around certain corners, with thick, doomy chords, quelling feedback and a drumbeat from the cauldron of hell upending “Trees” -- but this is mostly a very pleasant bloodbath.


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