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August 17, 2009

Music Review: Supercontinent – Vaalbara

Filed under: Music,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 4:46 PM
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Supercontinent – Vaalbara
Review By Mirza Gazic (StonerRock.com)
Saw Her Ghost Records
Release Date: 2008
Published: August 15, 2009

Link to review

Considering the meaning of the term supercontinent it can be said that these guys from Ann Arbor, Michigan have quite a fitting name. The sludge/doom on Vaalbara is practically overloaded with dense, overwhelming riffs and the album is largely instrumental so those that favour riffing over singing should love this. As befits the genre this album is very low on tempo, sounding instead as if most songs were played in a muggy swamp.

Naturally, due to the nature of this genre and the fact that Supercontinent also have quieter moments they will draw comparisons to more esteemed bands like Isis. This is inevitable but they actually have a tad more in common with Cult of Luna, particularly with their 2003 album The Beyond and during those very few moments when there are vocals present this comparison becomes clearer.

What Supercontinent do well here is manage to keep an album with over 60 minutes in length interesting which is not an easy thing to do, especially within sludge. They do it by calming things down halfway through with the mellow “Rain Gives Rise,” which is five minutes of beautiful melancholy as good as anything by the post rock bands. Another highlight is the mighty “Monolith,” a ten minute piece that goes full circle from churning heaviness, through introspective calm and back to suggestive riffing.

Sadly, this band is now defunct but don’t let that stop you from tracking Vaalbara down.

August 5, 2009

Music Review: Pike – Beneath Death Valley demo

Filed under: Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:24 AM
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Really good demo from a Swedish doom/stoner band- Could go the same way as fellow countrymen Kongh

Published on StonerRock.com – Link to review

August 1, 2009

For those unfamiliar with Pike – which currently must be quite a few – they are a Swedish trio playing groove-heavy doom metal who here offer up a promising demo consisting of two songs and an acoustic interlude. Not much material to dissect but this is easily overlooked since they’re still in the beginning of their recording career and since, in true doom fashion the two songs tick in at a length of over 15 minutes.

Beneath Death Valley draws a considerable influence from both classics like Sabbath and Motorhead, but even more so from contemporaries like High on Fire and particularly from the more grimy and rumbling jams on The Art of Self Defense, something evident on opener “Snowstalker.” Where Pike differ slightly is with the mix of psychedelic influences which function well as armament against a lack of variety.

It would be good to hear a recording with at least four longer songs on it next time, in order to make a more fair judgement of whether they can sustain the skill from Beneath Death Valley and spread it out over a longer period. It will especially be intriguing to find out if they can write another ten minute song with equal parts fast and doomy as good as “Manonian.” Until then Beneath Death Valley will do just fine.

http://www.myspace.com/pikesweden

Music Review: Carlton Melton – Live in Point Arena 7/8/08

Filed under: Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:18 AM
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Published on StonerRock.com

August 1, 2009 – Link to review

Carlton Melton is a band made to be a cult favorite among those that love improvisational and instrumental music. They sound too trippy and weird to ever be big, but they do know how to make something engaging out of what sounds like nothing more than impromptu jamming. The deal here is slow, long pieces of space rock with a hint of drone added in – the first two songs, “Happy Song” and “Against the Wall,” have a constant rattling buzz throughout – that are pleasantly soothing and atmospheric.

There are similarities with latter-day Earth but where theirs is a dry, dusty character, Carlton Melton literally rise above and offer up spacey and ethereal soundscapes. Live in Point Arena has the atmosphere of a record just born out of a will to improvise rather than plan any song structures. It sounds like the band just plugged in and went wherever inspiration took them at that moment in time. The fact that all song titles here are working titles further cements the view of a loose environment. “Root Ball” consists of not much else except for a long, slow guitar solo, whereas the back bone of “Inter Mission” is based on the strum of a broken up old acoustic guitar and another drawn out solo, albeit with more of a blues feel to it this time.

For those that appreciate music that breathes and takes its time, that is made for concentrated listening Carlton Melton are a new acquaintance to embrace. They may remain unknown but will be liked by those that still love rock with an experimental edge.

http://www.myspace.com/carltonmelton

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