After dropping a very well received EP only a couple of months ago, and hot off the back of a European tour and countless UK shows, Hundred Year Old Man have made a swift return with the debut full length album they’ve been threatening us all with since day one: Breaching. Wielding a volatile mix of Post, Doom and Sludge metal similar to scene leaders Neurosis and Amen-ra, Hundred Year Old Man are aiming to provide the soundtrack to the existential dread that plagues us all.
If previous three track EP Rei was the calm beforehand, Breaching is the Armageddon of all storms to follow. Tracks like ‘The Forest’ and ’The Long Wall’ smash against you with such power and aggression it could knock your head clean off your shoulders.
Vocalist Paul Broughton, who sadly announced that he’ll be stepping down after their album release show, bellows across the tracks with absolute blinding fury. Backed up with huge sounding drums that could summon the Balrog from Lord of the Rings into your front room, and walls upon walls of guitars reaching epic heights, before bringing the hammer back on your head with another killer riff.
Interlude tracks such as ‘Clearing the Sailents’ and ‘Cease’ create some much needed respite and breathing room before going back to being metaphorically repeatedly punched in the head over and over once again. Adding subtle textures and drone elements, which was once hinted on their previous works, but executed to a much higher standard.
‘Disconnect’ brings everything aforementioned before back down to their post-metal origins. Sounding like it’s been lifted straight out of Cult of Luna’s back catalogue, which is nowhere near a bad comment, if anything it’s an album standout. Stomping along until dragging itself down into murky drone-esqe depths, only for it to build itself back up into a climatic battle of an ending.
The hardest part of being a band of this style is nailing that huge grandeur needed to make the songs what they need to be. Hundred Year Old Man sound like they wrote the book on that with Breaching. It’s been said many times throughout this review, but you can’t even begin to scratch the surface just how big this record sounds.
Hundred Year Old Man have created an incredible debut record with Breaching. In a genre where you’d struggle to stand out amongst your peers, they’ve cemented themselves as a strong contender for it’s next poster boys. You’d struggle to find anything better this year, within the post-metal confines than this record.