Kyuss was barely an echo on the radar with their 1991 debut Wretched, an album that suffered from dubious production and displayed only flashes of their brilliance. But they became the kings of underground metal with the sequel Blue for the red sun, released just eight months later in June 1992.
Admittedly, this was a small kingdom to rule over, because, despite the record’s revolutionary greatness, it didn’t even ripple into the mainstream, instead, it bubbled loudly within their stage. . This is where fans noticed something very different from everything else, and quite the contrast with Wretched. The main reason was the change behind the board in the studio.
“We just took a completely different approach because our friend Chris Goss was producing with us,” Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme said in an interview in 1992. “We had no idea how to get the sound that we did. we wanted to hear, so this time around we had his help because he understood what we were looking for – and that’s really important. “
Goss was from the Masters of Reality, a progressive rock band from New York. Having a producer who led a band named after Black Sabbath’s third record led to some easy comparisons between the low-end rumble of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward and what Kyuss was doing – except for group members themselves.
“I don’t mean to say I don’t like the Sabbath, but it’s just not my bag,” guitarist Josh Homme said. “If Sabbath is on the stereo or something, I won’t turn it off, but I don’t buy Sabbath records. Black Sabbath is a good band, but in my day, if you were into punk and you listened to Sabbath, somebody’s gonna beat you up, you know?
“I don’t see any Sabbath influence in what we do,” added drummer Brant Bjork. “It just so happens that in 1968 when Sabbath was forming and what they considered a rock band is very similar to what we see here in 1992 as a rock band. I think it’s more of a coincidence than an influential thing.
It could have been the case, or maybe Man and Bjork were trying to save face by distancing themselves back then, as it was hard to deny the Sabbath hues on mud-based songs like “50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up) ”, opens the album“ Thumb ”and“ Molten Universe ”.
Yet the incorporations of the Sabbath – intentional or not – were only one of the elements that Blue for the red sun such an important effort in hindsight. Take “Writhe”, a beefy and upbeat track where a moderate John Garcia hums in a manner similar to Glenn Danzig; there was nothing back then that sounded even at a similar distance. “The Weight of the Apothecaries” heavily accompanies Man’s bass guitar – plugged into a bass amp for added effect – leading the way, rumbling over anything in its path. And the driving “Green Machine”, a frenzied, bass-driven act with Nick Oliveri pulling a ridiculous solo on the instrument has more than a punk overtone, which, at its core, is what Kyuss considered himself to be.
“Punk rock is exactly what describes our music,” Bjork said. “I think we’re a bunch of punks playing rock music. We’re not hardcore by any means and we’re not punk music, but I think we’re four punks playing rock, that’s basically what it is.
Kyuss albums ranked in order of magnitude