Sunday 4 March 2018

Album Review: FU MANCHU - Clone Of The Universe

01. Intelligent Worship
02. (I've Been) Hexed
03. Don't Panic
04. Slower Than Light
05. Nowhere Left To Hide
06. Clone Of The Universe
07. Il Mostro Atomico (featuring Alex Lifeson)

Californian Stoner-Rockers Fu Manchu are back with this, their 12th studio album. I first listened to the band back in 1996 when they released their third album In Search Of... and thought they were great. I was into bands like Monster Magnet and Corrosion of Conformity at the time, whose musical style wasn't a million miles away from Fu Manchu's, so I warmed to them quite quickly.

What I really like about Fu Manchu is that they have plenty of upbeat rocking tracks. Opener Intelligent Worship is a strutting beast, and is instantly catchy. (I've Been) Hexed is another fuzzy bass driven rocker that sounds like Ace Frehley jamming with Cathedral.

Don't Panic puts the pedal to the metal with some high-octane Punk riffing, before everything slows down with the doomy Slower Than Light. This distorted Black Sabbath worship continues with Nowhere Left To Hide, before the title track picks the tempo up a bit and delivers another slab of heavy riffing goodness. The album finishes with the 18-minute Prog-Stoner-Doom epic Il Mostro Atomico which features Alex Lifeson from Rush. It's a real journey, and for most fans will probably be the highlight of the record.

Having not listened to Fu Manchu for a few years, it was nice to reconnect with them. Clone Of The Universe is a really strong album and delivers everything that I wanted from them and more.


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