The briefest of perusals through our archives will indicate that we Villagers cover a sizable share of doom (and affiliated genres.) For me, doom and stoner rock are the progenitorial genres--the heavy music that got me into heavy music to begin with. Regrettably, I just haven’t been in the mood for the low ‘n’ slow for some time, and while a number of solid releases have come and gone, nothing has truly drawn me back into the fold.
Not until today, that is, when Fumarole’s latest single, Valley, found its way into our drafty scriptorum...and stayed here, on repeat, for quite some time indeed. And now, gateway opened, I'm clambering inside the doomier corners of the promo pit with grossly wild abandon. Thanks, Fumarole, for your unintentional service. But enough blathering; let's get to the track in question.
Fumarole list both Orange Goblin and Earthless as heroes, and the seamless blend of roadburn grit and fuzz worship they peddle is very accurately encapsulated in the mere mention of said bands. There are few surprises here in terms of base components, but, like the greatest of power trios, Fumarole's pyramidal operation demands high performance on all counts. On this single in particular, these Aussies deliver in fuckin' spades.
Valley is an exercise in excellence, and there's a lot here to love. The deceptively slow-burning rise into the thunderous central riff. The driving low end. The gruff stop-and-go vocal delivery, punctuated by (damn fine) cymbal work. The psychedelic yet methodical soloing. The poetically narrative lyricism. While both Ghost Smoke (their prior 2019 single) and Mountain (their debut EP) provide highly enjoyable listening experiences, Valley sees the band firing on cylinders I didn’t even know they had at their disposal. As such, Fumarole deliver what is undoubtedly the best track in their repertoire--and, in doing so, set ample anticipation for whatever it is they are cooking up next.
I say it a lot out of necessity, but here we go again. The sheer number of bands treading water out there in the conjoined seas of stoner rock and doom is nigh-inconceivable. It can be daunting, in all the excess, to find a band worth devoting time and energy. With that in mind: Fumarole is worth your time and energy. Full stop. Valley comes highly recommended.
Fumarole - Valley was released Oct. 4th, and can be streamed here.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.