Saturday 27 December 2014

Birch Hill Dam - Colossus

In 2012 I spent some time writing reviews for a few websites, including LouderThanHell.Net, GhostCult Magazine and Collective Zine. I wrote quite a few reviews over the period and have decided to re-publish the reviews here (with kind permission from the respective site editors). This first review was originally written and published at LounderThanHell.Net. I've recently learnt that LouderThanHell.Net has been taken down, so this is the only place you'll be able to see the reviews I wrote for them.

Birch Hill Dam are a US rock band, who lean toward stoner and sludge. Colossus was released in June 2011.

Note: The main body of the original review is the same as when it was originally written.


1. Colossus
2. 2600
3. Fathoms Below
4. Slavedriver
5. Holy Days Aren't Here Again
6. Threatening Skies
7. Ivory Tusk
8. Spread Eagle

Birch Hill Dam are a heavy stoner metal four-piece from Massachusetts. They feature Mike Nygard on vocals, Sam Barrett on guitar¸Pete Gelles on bass and Matt Neely on drums. They also have Pete Rutcho as a live member playing guitar and keyboard. Birch Hill Dam formed back in 2007 and Colossus in their latest album. They kick things off with the title-track and show exactly why their influences include Led Zep and Corrosion of Conformity. Their sound is more heavy metal than stoner, but it has an awesome groove to it and wouldn’t be out of place on stadium tours! They certainly know how to write a catchy riff.

Their stoner vibes shine through in the opening riffs of 2600. Orange Goblin would be proud of them! Birch Hill Dam doesn’t stick to standard three-minute songs, instead choosing to write longer more involving songs which envelope the listener. Birch Hill Dam get stronger and stronger in terms of their songwriting as they wind their way through Colossus, with songs like Fathoms Below sounding huge busting out of the speakers. This is also in no small part thanks to the epic production on the record. The use of keys bring melody to the record and a different texture that was missing from the albums earlier songs.

As you head towards the end of Colossus, you’re greeted by the warming tones of Ivory Tusk, which has to be one of the standout tracks on the album. The band sounds really assured throughout the song. Spread Eagle is pretty much perfect, with some great vocal melodies but also deep stoner growls to keep you on your toes. Birch Hill Dam seem to have got everything right with Colossus. From the monumental riffs to the powerful rhythm section to the vocals and keys, they’ve dropped a great, heavy metal album, which should see them grow in stature and popularity.

You can stream Colossus here:-

You can buys Colossus both digitally and on limited CD from their Bandcamp page above.

Birch Hill Dam Facebook -

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