The eponymously titled release from Belgian quintet Your Highness is a right raucous rampage, full of elephantine riffs, diesel oil-thick, gravelled vocals and pounding bass and drums, conjuring visions of coursing through the desert in a Mad Max-style vehicle, with fun and good times on your mind. This is the third full-length release from the Antwerp-based crew and boasts some fine head-shaking riffage, sitting comfortably alongside some shivering, vibrato-tinged blues interventions.
The album kicks in with a swift one-two to the guts with ‘Devils Delight’, boasting a QOTSA-esque riff, only better and so much dirtier – ‘We ride out to the sound of thunder, ride out and never look back’, hollers frontman Ben Baert, swiftly followed by ‘The Flood’, drowning the listener in blistering riffs and good-time grooves. ‘Born Anew’ takes a slight tangent, introducing shakers, hand claps and blues guitar, sounding like it was recorded in a cupboard in the 1900s (a good thing) – before morphing into one of those massive riffs, laying waste to the ears of the unsuspecting listener. ‘Black Fever’ also follows in a similar vein. Closer ‘Kin’s Blood’ has a hazy, fuzzy, vibra-tone intro, before a sparse half-spoken, half-sung behemoth of a tune spreads out over fourteen minutes, erupting every so often to keep the listener on their toes. Time well spent.
There are hints of Mastodon’s ‘The Hunter’-era on a few of the songs, along with perhaps more obvious comparisons to Orange Goblin, High on Fire, Acid King, ASG. These guys would lay waste to any venue they played and must be an absolute joy to behold in a live setting. Your Highness have brought their guitars, they’re set to stun and they’re taking no prisoners. Bring it on.
Your Highness is out on October 11th via Hoogheid Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Scott Crawford