Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lotus Thief: Rervm (2014)

Hey, Give Me My Lotus Back!

Unless I’m mistaken, Lotus Thief began life on the companion Allies disc to Botanist’s Doom in Bloom. If you’re not familiar, that disc featured different bands using the drum tracks from the Botanist album to play completely new songs. It seems at least one of those has been fertilized and is now growing on its own.

The band features Otrebor (of Botanist) so of course I’m already inclined to like it. But even if you don’t care for Botanist, that shouldn’t have any bearing on this, because it doesn’t sound even remotely like it.

Rervm is an album of heavy psychedelic rock, of some variety. Since I don’t listen to a whole lot of psychedelic rock, I can’t tell you whether it treads new ground or not. In a couple of places (“Lvx” and “Mortalis”) it reminds me somewhat of Crippled Black Phoenix, but simultaneously heavier and less Earthbound. The tracks hover around the eight-minute mark, and sometimes attempt to induce a trance in a way that’s a second-cousin to what some ambient black metal bands attempt. But some of these riffs are so great they will wake you right up. Check “Miseras” especially, which threatens to go in a balls-out rock direction a la Red Fang, but doesn’t forget what it’s really here to do.

The sound is deliciously raw but powerful, with more than its share of bass. And the female vocals are a nice touch, sometimes spacy but always swaggering.

The jewel case sticker version of this story is: Heavy Psych-Rock with Swagger. I recommend it for those who might enjoy mental space travel, but always want a rocking riff.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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