Italian stoner rockers Oreyeon release their third album Equations For The Useless (Heavy Psych Sounds), a potent mix of stoner, grunge, heavy rock, and lengthier progressive compositions. This album notably draws on the influences of years gone by not only in style but was also recorded live, an approach to a recording I’m very much a fan of.
Culled from the same sessions that birthed the Lavender Blues EP in 2020, Big Scenic Nowhere’s second full-length expands the supergroup’s jammed out take on Desert Rock. However, The Long Morrow (Heavy Psych Sounds) sets itself apart from Vision Beyond Horizon by means of a more grounded approach. There aren’t as many songs as before and the album is about ten minutes shorter than its predecessor overall. The guest list also isn’t as loaded this time around, only featuring keyboardist Per Wilberg and The Cure/David Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels on the colossal title track.
Not content to just let the sludgy boi/spooky girl pairings have all the fun with multi-artist collaborations in Doom, A Story Of Darkness And Light (Stickman Records)features the coming together of Elder and Kadavar as Eldovar (I don’t know where that ‘o’ comes from either). The two groups certainly make for interesting bedfellows; while both are arguably rooted in Seventies Rock traditions, Elder has evolved to Heavy Prog splendor while Kadavar largely subsists on off-the-cuff Stoner Blues. However, their shared interest in various genre experiments as well as established track records of high quality material gives plenty of fertile ground for such a union.
Five albums into a career as one of the top bands in the modern Stoner Doom scene, Monolord offers their mellow, tripped-out effort to date with Your Time To Shine (Relapse Records). While there’s still plenty of dank fuzziness to go around, it feels almost like a backdrop at times as the cleaner guitar textures are given near equal priority and the vocals are at their most prominent. Fortunately, it feels like more of a culmination of a gradual trajectory rather than a radical shift in direction; after all, these elements started gaining traction on 2019’s No Comfort and it’s easy to imagine guitarist/vocalist Thomas V. Jager’s 2020 solo album rubbing off on the process.
Blackwater Holylight – Silence/Motion
With Blackwater Holylight’s unique brand of Doomgaze getting gradually heavier with each passing album, it makes sense that their third full-length, Silence/Motion (RidingEasy Records), pushes that heaviness to its furthest extents yet.
The first proper album from Heavy Temple sees the Philadelphia power trio in a rather interesting position. Aside from featuring a new lineup of players behind bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk, Lupi Amoris (Magnetic Eye Records) doesn’t seem too different from the two EPs released before it. It isn’t that much longer than those EPs, consisting of five tracks totaling thirty-three minutes long, and is executed in a similarly free-flowing Heavy Psych style. Continue reading
For the most part, the fourth album from Jess And The Ancient Ones continues down the low-key approach to Occult Rock that was established on 2017’s The Horse And Other Weird Tales. Just about every song on Vertigo (Svart Records) is driven by a short length, an upbeat structure, and extensive layers of psychedelic instrumentation. Aside from the eleven minutes of the closing ‘Strange Earth Illusion,’ the first two albums’ more drawn-out runtimes seem to be a thing of the past.
While the core sound behind Book Of Wyrms has always been a balance between Doom Metal and Space Rock, their third album sees the band committing much more to the latter. Occult New Age (Desert Records) retains the methodical tempos and some of the beefy riffs of 2019’s Remythologizer but ultimately devotes its atmospheric ends to lighter textures and looser structures. The heavier sequences have more in common than Kyuss than Cathedral and their underlying Hawkwind influence had previously never been highlighted to this extent.
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – L.W.
As indicated by the title, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s seventeenth full-length essentially serves as the second half of 2020’s K.G. and picks up where it left off stylistically. L.W. (Flightless Records) sees the completion of the microtone trilogy that started with 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana, emphasizing a similar mix of Middle Eastern scales, rhythmic percussion, and loosely flowing song structures. ‘Static Electricity’ and ‘See Me’ do the best job of dialing that vibe with their upbeat pacing while the grandiose chugs and life-affirming chants make the closing ‘K.G.L.W.’ one of the band’s most over the top Doom Metal dives to date.Continue reading
Cave of Swimmers’ first album isn’t much longer than the two EPs they’ve previously released, just barely hitting thirty-two minutes long. However, Aurora (BroomTune Records) serves as a dramatic leap forward for the Miami duo. The songs are rooted in the same hyperactive Heavy Psych last seen with 2015’s Reflection but there is more time devoted to exploring their more in-your-face influences. The resulting hodgepodge of Stoner Rock, Prog, and Classic Metal ends up being somewhere between Hammers Of Misfortune and Galactic Cowboys with a bit of King Gizzard for flavor.