|If you had to put a label on Samothrace's second album, you could call it badlands Doom.|
"I'm a cowboy... on a steeeeeeeeeeeel horse I ride!" ...eer, sorry.
Never did I think that I would actually reference Bon Jovi in a doom metal review, and even if I did, I would've never expected it to be something positive... but, here we are.
If I had to put a label on Samothrace's "Reverence To The Stone", I'd call it badlands doom (from Kansas? ...sure, why not?). If you've ever wondered what a drunken doom collaboration between Phil Anselmo and Hank Williams III might sound like, this is as close to an answer as you're likely to get.
"Reverence To The Stone" just has those odd qualities. At times it is like a mix of doom and post rock (perhaps some Morgion, and even While Heaven Wept): noisy, but impressively heavy, and surprisingly melodic. The guitars are exactly where they need to be, and the softer parts are some of the better doom country/delta blues style riffing I've heard in a while. I love the intro to 'A Horse Of Our Own', and the quieter break near the end of the song (I'm feeling a bit of Kyuss, but less groove, and more melody)... very awesome old country/epic rock feel to it! (dat solo!)
The drums complement the music nicely, so long as they're in the background (towards the end of 'When We Emerged', it seems like there's an attempt at turning them into a lead instrument, and this is often risky at best. I don't feel like Samothrace pull it off. The last parts of the song simply end up lacking in cohesion). It's certainly not a deal breaker. The drumming is spot on through the rest of the album.
Now, about the vocals. Fuck the vocals. There, I said it. Don't get me wrong, the vocals are well executed, and even fit the music at times (and in my opinion, are mercifully sparse), but why does it have to be all screaming? (Though admittedly, I can be somewhat of a clean vocal purist at times) For the style of music on display here, the vocals shouldn't be reminding me of Hefeystos, or really any other black metal. I realize that clean singing will often make or break (usually the latter) an album, but when your compositions are just begging (or should I say, screaming) for it, why not at least try?
Overall though, "Reverence To The Stone" is something most doom fans should hear at least once. I hope Samothrace keep at it, because their next release could be something really special.
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1. When We Emerged
2. A Horse Of Our Own
Duration : Approx. 34 minutes
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