Thursday, October 25, 2012

Metal Briefs: Stoner Doom 2012

You Don't Have to Be High to Love It

I've mentioned it before, but I've never partaken of any illicit drugs, marijuana included. Sometimes, that means there's music I can't enjoy, or at least not the way the artist intended. Stoner doom is, nonetheless, one of my favorite genres, and there's never a shortage of new material in that strain.

S:t Erik: From Under the Tarn (2012)
(4 out of 5 stars)

S:t Erik is a Swedish band who sound like Sleep mixed with Hawkwind. Most importantly, their drummer has an impeccable sense of groove, but the rest of the band members aren't slouches either. The music is dynamic, with a wide range of tempos and volume levels. The hoarse, clean vocals give their own excellent hooks (check opener "Goddess") with, again, an excellent sense of timing and rhythm (of the utmost importance for this style of music). Finally, a synthesizer adds outer-space sounds. The writing isn't revolutionary; they use tried-and-true tactics like riff/ringing chord with vocals/riff/repeat, but they handle it well. When it's good, it is so damn good. "Your Highness" makes me think of a spaceship hurtling inexorably toward the sun. The second half of the album isn't quite as strong, but nonetheless the whole thing is entertaining.

Spora Recordz

Darsombra: Climax Community
(3 out of 5 stars)

Darsombra play instrumental* drone/stoner doom, which could be about the most boring style of metal imaginable when done wrong. Climax Community isn't bad, though. It's very simple, but it does have melody and a variety of typical "psychedelic" sounds (e.g. synths and what I think is a sitar). I particularly dig the acoustic folk of the middle track of the three, and the Tool-like bassline in the last track.

*Technically speaking there are some alyrical vocals near the beginning and end of the record.

Buy Climax Community

Goya: Demo
(4 out of 5 stars)

Arizona's Goya is an incredibly promising band. Their 2012 "demo" is fit to be released as a debut full-length as-is. They sound something like Electric Wizard blended with Down. They take a warm guitar tone, physical bass drum, and distant vocals, and play either slow or fast, with a Southern inflection and occasional punky beat. The production is heavy, with just the right rawness to clarity ratio for this kind of music. And the songs are very good, with plenty of dynamism. Check out the name-your-price demo, and keep your eyes open for more from these guys in the future.


  1. Going to have to check out the first one (what's with the name?) and Goya. Those references all rule hard.

  2. I don't know why they formatted the name that way, but they are named after a Swedish saint, if I remember correctly.