Don't Look Them Up on Metal Archives
I managed to listen to the band's sophomore album about five times before looking them up, and I formed my opinions about the record before seeing that page. What they play is often described as stoner doom with crust punk influences, which makes me think Electric Wizard and Amebix. But I find that couldn't be much further from the truth. It sounds like Isis interpreted by Swallow the Sun, or in other words, melodic death/doom with post-metal influences. OK, so they're both doom descriptions, but completely different otherwise.
Reverence to Stone is composed of two tracks of 14 and 20 minutes, with sparse vocals. Much of the melody reminds me of Panopticon/Absence-era Isis, as do some of the heavier riffs, but the tone of the instruments, apparent space of the production, and vocal style are early Swallow the Sun. Which could be a very cool combination, if they wouldn't take so damn long to go anywhere. The longer of the two songs starts out with 7 minutes of plodding paired with a long, dull guitar solo. For a little while right after that, it sounds pretty badass, but then it gets boring again. It lacks whatever the hell it was that made Isis so great (I still haven't figured that out, but they still give me chills), so the long, contemplative compositions don't work. It sounds OK, but ends up as background noise.
The Verdict: 2 out of 5 stars
Buy Reverence to Stone
If you still want to give the band a fair shot, stop reading right there, and don't scroll down. If you want to know what else I have to say, feel free to read on.
The band name, music, album art, song titles, etc. all seem like a band who love the music of metal, but aren't especially capable of making a good album come together. Just hearing it, that's my impression. What I never would have guessed is that they're hipsters. Yet, you can't avoid that impression once you see their Metal Archives page. In their picture, they look like hipsters, ratty dreadlocks here, flannel shirt and stupid knit cap there, dumb facial expressions all around. They came from Lawrence, Kansas, which I wouldn't think is a hipster stronghold except for the college, but are now based in Seattle. Yes, that Seattle. They're on 20 Buck Spin, which despite having a few strong releases, is known to aid and abet hipsters. And none of that is the worst. Worst is, band members have been involved in bands called The Fucktards, Christianistan, and Short Bus Kids. I can't think of names that scream "hipster" much more loudly.
So, my inclination is to dock their score for being a bunch of fucktard short bus kids, but the score reflects the music.