Posts Tagged ‘Stoner’

Southern Lord – 10th February 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

No-one could accuse Sleep of rushing their output, on any level. Masters of the slowest, droniest, doomiest, stoneriest metal going, they’ve managed four albums and an EP since their emergence at the dawn of the 1990s. Although pitched as featuring their first new song in forever, ‘The Clarity’ was originally released digitally in 2014.

Compared to the release which preceded it, the magnum opus which was Jerusalem (later released in it full hour-long glory as Dopesmoker), ‘The Clarity’ is a pretty concise affair, clocking in at a fraction under ten minutes.

As is Sleep’s trademark, it’s a slow-paced, riff-centric trudge, crushing, sludgy guitar and bass form a thick, bubbling coat of heavy-grained sonic soup around crushing percussion. The vocals emanate a heavy-lidded sedatedness as the lyrics conjure tripped out images, and the whole thig plods its way on with no regard for anything, really. There’s an extended guitar solo, which really does go on and on and is a total wig-out, and all the while, the riff – and no doubt the spliff – just rolls. It’s a beast, alright, and certainly worthy of the special etched vinyl treatment.




New Heavy Sounds – 30th September 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

This dubiously-monikered stoner doom foursome have come a long way since their self-released cassette debut crawled from deepest, darkest Wrexham: containing just one thirty-minute track, Nachthexen was a behemoth alright, but while it hinted at the juxtaposition of throbbing riffs and soaring, choral vocals that has become their trademark, it gave no indication of just how much, and how quickly, they would hone and refine their megalithic sound.

Noeth Ac Anoeth was truly a beast of an album, which saw them shifting further from the standard doom tropes to forge a more unique sound, and, following less than a year later, Y Proffwyd Dwyll shows a further evolutionary leap that’s s colossal as the riffs they grind out. For their latest outing, they’ve gone pop. Well, ok, no they haven’t, but the songs are notable not for their immensity, but their concision. The fact the album contains six tracks gives an indication of their newfound brevity, with not a single track extending beyond the ten-minute mark.

The melodies are strong and there are distinct and remarkably memorable choruses here. Jessica Ball’s vocals are the band’s trump card, the key aspects which not only separates MWWB from their peers and every other doom / stoner band around, but renders them essentially unique. No guttural snarling here: her vocal style is wonderfully tuneful, soaring, ethereal, and despite the churning guitar backdrop, MWWB stand comparison with acts like Curve, Cranes, and the shuddering, horrific beauty of Chelsea Wolfe.

The heavily chorused guitar on the intro to ‘Testudo’ is pure Cure, but naturally paves the way for some crushing, low-BPM riffology. Even so, the way that they work tonal and textural variations and the overall dynamics within the song structures and across the album as a whole is impressive.

Closer ‘Cithuula’ is the most straight-ahead heavy rocker, a crawling Sabbathesque beast of a tune. A blitzkrieg of space synths not only add texture and depth, but alter the overall feel of the album. This is no straightforward doom album. In fact, it’s not a straightforward album, period: it’s a genre-bending effort and an album of real depth that stands proudly on its own. It’s also really, really good.