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Wheelfall : Interzone

Wheelfall's vision of music is quite simple: they play Desert Rock/Metal the epic way, the way it was meant to be.

It all starts with 'Howling', a pure slab of Stoner Rock in the same league as Nebula, fuzzy like the best moments of Space Probe Taurus and featuring a slow crushing part which is reminiscent of Electric Wizard at their peak when they had not yet become the cash register they are now. Wheelfall aren't really newcomers, having already tickled the ears of many Desert Rock fans with their 'From the Blazing Sky at Dusk' EP in 2010.

Wheelfall's vision of music is quite simple: they play Desert Rock/Metal the epic way, the way it was meant to be when the Elder Gods Kyuss, Yawning Man and Monster Magnet forged the style (add Sleep to the list when it comes to the vocal department). While this brand of music isn't anything new, it has been a while since I've heard it done so brilliantly by a non-American band. For Wheelfall are French, something you'll find hard to believe when listening to the music. 'Interzone' is a concept album about an alien invasion with enough nods to the various sci-fi flicks from the 50s and some genre writers to make any mid-period Voivod fan happy (I still wonder if 'Interzone' is a tribute to the underrated masterpiece 'The Outer Limits' from the Canadian band). The story continues over each track, it is quite well written and each song perfectly conveys the plot that is being told in the lyrics.

Musically, Wheelfall do their Desert Rock all by the book without trying to change a winning formula that has already given birth to many masterpieces over the years: alternating speedy moments with slower ones without ever losing the groove and the heavy heat one can expect from the genre. This tension will only increase with some welcome twists (e.g. the Doom anthem 'The Parasite Ravages' with its massive bass lines), building up to the intense explosion that is the title track.

Now, this is where Wheelfall truly shine. For the song 'Interzone' is a 22 minute behemoth that crawls down the amps at first, slowly, slowly, then suddenly rises from its magmatic lair to crush you under an incredible wall of riffs that has still to be matched by any French band in the same league. While the first half of the album, albeit damn well crafted, shows some lack of personality, this last song… Boys, this last song… It just proves how wrong I am when I say that Wheelfall lack personality. This is the kind of song that will please any fan of Ufomammut or Acrimony, the kind of song nobody would have expected to hear from a French band, plain and simple.

Some naysayers will claim that Wheelfall aren't Doom enough to be reviewed on this website, others will say that Stoner generally sucks and I'll just say: who the fuck cares when it is GOOD?! Right now, Wheelfall have released the best debut album in the Stoner genre in 2012. They are a band to follow blindly, and 'Interzone' is an album you'll need to play again and again and again… Addictive and well-executed, you'd better buy it right away when it's released in November!!

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. (Prelude)
2. Howling
3. Holy Sky
4. The Parasite Ravages
5. It Comes From the Mist
6. Interzone

Duration : Approx. 56 minutes

Visit the Wheelfall bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-09-28 by Laurent Lignon
Hate Your Guts Records
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