Written by: The Administrator
The brand of doom exemplified by Russia's own Grave Disgrace is monolithic, plain and simple. The original prototype. The standard by which all are judged. In other words...this stuff is pretty blatantly cast from the Black Sabbath mold. It's dark and menacing in the sense of being produced in a time where a mere mention of the occult is enough to send tingles down the spine. It's gothic and ominous in a delightfully indulgent fashion--like unto watching a Vincent Price film during a thunderstorm, the rich atmosphere is oh-so comforting. This is traditional doom in it's purest sense, and while a lot of Sabbath or Candlemass knockoffs inevitably exist out there, I seldom encounter a band that nails the proto stuff so accurately and adequately.
It’s Sunday, & you know what that means. We’ve had our black coffee + black metal, & now that we’re all keyed up, it’s time to kick back with some old-skool doom. As you may know, we spend time every Sunday exploring highlighting a lesser-known band that carries the mantle of Sabbathian legacy. Today we briefly shine the light on @witcherscreed, a young band whose very promising EPs are ample advertisement for their forthcoming debut. Slip on those headphones & dim the lights, dear reader; it’s time for #sabbathsunday.
When we talk about bands that emulate the 70’s, the risk is always that the group in question misses the encompassing sound of the decade in favor of poaching a little too aggressively. Not so here. While, for example, lead single Salem (Resurrection) feels Sabbathian in its mass, and demo 1’s self titled track has distinct Mississippi Queen vibes, Witchers Creed ain’t a copy/paste type of band. With boulderous (indeed, Mountain-esque) riffage liberally interrupted by acid-washed solos, a deliberate drumming style that recalls Baker’s contributions to Cream’s more straightforward numbers, & deliciously understated vocal harmonies, Witches Creed comes at the 70’s with a fresh-faced enthusiasm demonstrated by their many influences. Like early Saint Vitus or Pagan Altar, these young’uns display a delightful confidence, unmarred by uncomfortably clean production. Modern attempts at retro doom tend to focus exclusively on the nasty riff, & less so on the intricacies that keep things interesting. As mentioned, the soloing here is extensive & playful--this guy must know he can shred with a vibrant jubilance, & doesn’t allow stale notions of song construction to clip the wings of his stellar axemanship.
With a total of four distinct tracks up on bandcamp, burning through Witchers Creed isn’t exactly a major time investment--but oh, is it ever time well spent. That said, look for their debut album, courtesy of Ripple Music, sometime in the near future. If Awakened From the Tomb… is anything like what we’ve heard thusfar, the Sleeping Village certifies that it’s gonna be damn good.
Witchers Creed can be found at:
This particular Sleeping Village owes a massive debt to Black Sabbath…& not just because we blatantly lifted our moniker from their plunder-worthy supply of deepcuts. Because Sabbath have left such a veritable canyon in the firmament of heavy music, we dedicate every Sunday to exploring their own discography, or to highlighting a lesser-known band that carries the mantle of Sabbathian legacy. Today it's a case of the latter, as we briefly review Lunar Eclipse, the 2nd EP from @Stonus.band, a stoner doom outfit from Cyprus. Slip on those headphones & dim the lights, dear reader; it’s time for Sabbath Sunday.
Perhaps the ultimate touchstone for stoner doom & space-rock is Planet Caravan. While Stonus runs the gamut from hard rock to blatant psydoom, this EP is a gradual voyage that results in an updated approximation of the universe-traversing aesthetic. Aspirin, the 1st track proper, is a Pagan Altar-eque rocker with muffled vocals, jubilant cymbals, & some wonderfully catchy licks. It’s an enjoyably unpredictable track in & of itself...but then Spiritual Realities kicks into gear, & Stonus deftly maneuvers their way through a tonal shift, demonstrating modern prog leanings à la Tool. Just when you feel like you have some sort of handle on what to expect, the title track leaves firm ground & goes for a bit of a jaunt through the ether. To describe Lunar Eclipse as “chill” feels diminutive, but honestly, this is a supremely laid-back experience--yet still rockin’ enough to facilitate attention to the details.
The intro & outro feel unnecessary & add little to the atmosphere, but as the aforementioned songs are simply outstanding, this is a minor quibble. No bones about it: this EP is a fun & relaxing listen, not least because of the obvious attention paid towards consistent exploration. Stonus may not be innovators & wayfinders per se, but their ability to avoid getting lost in the stereotypical stoner doldrums is incredibly admirable--a trait that sets them far beyond their many colleagues in the genre. Despite sounding familiar, Stonus are genuinely unique.
Welcome to a special edition of Sabbath Sunday! Today, the utterance of “Sleeping Village” isn’t always an act of self-aggrandizement. Our motley township owes an obvious debt to Black Sabbath…but @sleepingvillageband, today’s group in question, also lifted their moniker from Sababth’s plunder-worthy supply of deepcuts. The Birmingham Four have left a veritable canyon in the firmament of heavy music. As such, we dedicate every Sunday to recounting the history of their own discography, or to highlighting a lesser-known band carrying the mantle of Sabbathian legacy. Today, it's a case of the latter, as we briefly review Among the Gods, Sleeping Village’s debut EP.
Sleeping Village's style is unexpectedly varied, which is to say that Among the Gods doesn’t lean on the stereotypical Sabbath sound. While the elements are there--thick ‘n’ groovy guitar & bluesy bass that follows the riff--Sleeping Village has made a well-adjusted effort to play a nuanced love letter to ye doom of olde, intelligently picking & choosing qualities from influences galore. The nonchalant vocal delivery, for example, is similar to Zeeb Parkes on Friends of Hell-era Witchfinder. The emphasis on adventurous soloing recalls early Pentagram. The somber momentum on the (particularly rockin’) Lucky 7’s recalls the drive of Saint Vitus’ Clear Windowpane. I could go on, but here’s the bottom line: if you like doom that absolutely oozes that sweet retro sound, I have little doubt Sleeping Village will let you down. In this sense, Sleeping Village truly lives Among the Gods.
The four tracks presented here feel very distinct, & thus, its frankly difficult to select a favorite. Ultimately, the title track feels like it illustrates the band’s strengths most effectively. A sneering chorus, backed by the fuzziest guitar tone money can buy, builds towards a galaxy-spanning solo--all the makings of a great tune.
Highly recommended. From one Sleeping Village to another: keep it up. We’re quite excited to hear what comes next!
Sleeping Village can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!