Lonely Kamel – Dust Devil (Napalm Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Pepper Keenan-fronted Corrosion of Conformity never got its just due, you know? Subtracting 2000’s pedestrian America’s Volume Dealer, the Southern-bred metallers were at one point considered the alternative to Metallica when they uh, dropped a Load on everyone (so clever!). And if you follow the paper trail back to 1994’s excellent Deliverance and 96’s even more excellent Wiseblood, you’ll find that COC should have a much larger influence onbands that we give them credit for, something that Norwegian rockers Lonely Kamel bring to the fore on their third album, Dust Devil.

Hard to levy the stoner tag on these guys (although Napalm Record does), as Lonely Kamel doesn’t take the lazy route on Dust Devil’s ten offerings. Rather, these songs are quick and hearty, full of throbbing, Sabbath Southern porch-sitting riffs, driven home accordingly by singer Thomas Brenna, who sounds like a less nasally Keenan at various points. Moreover, the album has a distinct Southern rock swag to it, which is quite funny considering LK is from Norway.

Anyway, a bunch of songs here are worth getting amped about, including the cleverly-titled “Grim Reefer,” the punchy “Evil Man” (love the lyrics) and boogie-happy “Rotten Seed,” which swipes a few riffs right from COC circa 1994’s back pocket. Aside from the slow-mo “Seventh Son” (a total dud), Lonely Kamel finds their rock in a hard place and clings to it, as heard on the lurching “Ragnarörkr” and barstool brawling “Roadtrip with Lucifer.”

Essentially filling the vacuum left by COC (who have since reformed, but with their hardcore-happy lineup), Lonely Kamel’s brand of Southern dirt rock/metal strikes a chord on Dust Devil. Quite amusing how a band from the cold, cold nether regions of Norway can sound this American, but we’ll take it, and proceed to rock.

www.myspace.com/lonelykamel

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)