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Without God : Lambs to the Slaughter

Without God are part of this new wave of Slavic Trad/ Stoner Doom bands that are on their way to conquer the world.

Something is happening in the east of Europe, a new wave of Doom Metal is crushing on our western shores ; the nineties and the 2000's have seen the birth, the multiplication and the ever-growing popularity of extreme Doom bands from the slavic sphere. The colour of this expanding black sea has been changing a bit for some times: bands from over there have now digested their Sleep, their Electric Wizard, and – never too late- their Black Sabbath for dummies. Trad, Stoner Doom and Sludge are on their way to conquer the world.

Without God is one of the fishes the curious fan can fish out of that cold sea. Their sound is very much influenced by Saint Vitus ground by Electric Wizard. As a result, you get a massive slab of Stoner Doom, quite dynamic and emotional (that’s for the Saint Vitus influence) and fuzzy, drenched in delay, surreal and hypnotic (that’s for the Electric Wizard touch).

Able to write fluent songs, literally oozing groove, progressing mid-tempo, able to infuse an almost energic vibe all along their fat, beardy, smoky tunes, these rookies show a astonishing talent in regurgitating all the genre’s gimmicks in a coherent and exciting way. Some tracks venture in some more hectic ground, crossed by hot vibrations, grunting guitar releasing jerky chords, backed up by a super-active drummer who does an excellent job behind his barrels, bringing the sparking, brilliant element that the thick flow of the guitars strives to erase. That is not to say that Without God‘s music lacks dynamics, oh no, they are very smart, those guys, and the songwriting expands in various directions, even allowing for long tense and atmospheric moments to carve their place in their dark psychedelic visions - like in ‘Crossword/Eat the Shit', when the lead guitar indulges in long chanting lines, sustained by a restrained bass, and light drums (the whole piece being instrumental). The voice, as a matter of fact doesn’t sound intrusive. It’s a deep and hoarse, slightly gurgling voice, full of temperament and agility that works very well with the music whenever it’s made more melodic and mysterious (like again in ‘Crossword./Eat the Shit’, that great track at half-album, full of twists and brilliant ideas that make you nod your head in rhythm).

Some parts are less inspired, sure, but everywhere, you’ll find a passage that will make you bow in amazement; it’s super heavy each time it’s not super atmospheric (the guitars can sound very sensual in those quiet and laid-down moments) - no soppiness or hesitation, and you’re back to the extremes: the ride is really intense and ever-interesting.

Those Russians have produced a convincing Stoner Doom album with 'Lambs to the Slaughter' and once again, whatever the genre, and however inspired the songwriting can be (and here, it’s really above average), you never fault those eastern guys on their talent as musicians; it’s not that complex, but it’s precise, in tune, and inventive. For a first full-length, I don’t ask for more!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. They Rot
2. Believe
3. Space Weed
4. Homeless
5. Crossroads/Eat the Shit
6. Burn in Hell
7. Forgiveness Sunday
8. Forever
9. Altar of Medicine
10. Faithless

Duration : Approx. 56 minutes

Visit the Without God bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-10 by Bertrand Marchal
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