Album Review: Dirt Church’s “Dirt Church”

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Editors Note: Nippertown collaborated with Music Teacher (and pretty phenomenal musician) Katy Ashe to have her Johnsburg Central students review a local musician’s new music. The goal is to highlight young writers and shine the spotlight on our local artists, in this case, Dirt Church.

Review by Gabe Freebern

Brought to us from Albany, sludge metal band Dirt Church releases Dirt Church as their debut album. Before I dove into this album I was anticipating hearing the same generic sound every new metal band has, but boy was I wrong. 

I was pleasantly surprised with this album because it does what many other new-age metal groups miss. Dirt Church has a very original sound that allows for experimentation. What I mean by this is that because Dirt Church is a recently formed band that has its own sound, they are allowed room for experimentation with their future albums. I have to say this album lays a very impressive foundation for Dirt Church as they pursue their music careers in the future. Another thing this album does well is that it recreates the 90’s stoner-rock and desert rock that was popular very effectively. If I had to guess one of Dirt Church’s influencers on this album, I would have to guess Alice In Chains because they were so prominent in the ’90s as being the darkest grunge metal group. Dirt Church directly implements that “dark sludge/grunge metal” vibe within this album. 

With mesmerizing guitar riffs, speed/thrash drumming, screaming vocals, and that beautiful bass foundation, most songs off this album really stand out as being creative and adrenaline rush inducing. The first track “Cicada” comes in with a nice subtle intro and the beat drops right into this nasty rhythm and stays energetic throughout the entire song. The way vocalist Billy Harrington introduces his more melodic choruses is perfect. This track really clarifies that every member of Dirt Church has something great to offer for their listeners.

Another remarkable piece of this album is the second track “Psalm 4”. This song is great because it comes in hard as soon as you start listening. In my opinion, guitarists Justin Hunt and Jon Imbo are the stars of this track. Every member really put forth their most “sludge metal” sound into this track. Another brilliant track off this album is “Zephyr King”. This track features a different sound than previous tracks because it sounds more like thrash metal than sludge metal. This track intros with pulsating bass and picks up from there.

Overall, Dirt Church has a serious sound that every metal-head should take a listen to because they will find that they have never heard anything like this. Dirt Church by Dirt Church is a truly remarkable composition. Now that I’ve listened to every track more than ten times, I have to say I am a huge Dirt Church fan and will be following them through to their next album.

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