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Season Of Arrows : Give It To The Mountain


East Coasters Season Of Arrows are ripping it up in fine form on their sophomore album of female-fronted Stoner.



Now this one's a scorcher. East Coast USA's Season Of Arrows are ripping it up in fine form on their sophomore album 'Give it to the Mountain', an almost perfectly-executed album of massive, desert-hot Stoner metal with a mystical edge and production that lends it heaviness to rival any doom band. Just about every criterion this subgenre calls for can be readily checked off. When it comes to this branch of retro metal, 'Give it to the Mountain' is a picture-perfect example of getting it right.

Stylistically similar to Witch Mountain or an amped-up Cauchemar, Season Of Arrows are in the pack of female-fronted occult metal bands that have been en vogue in the United States for about a decade, so the first challenge facing them is how to distinguish their name from the crowd. Fortunately, impressively mature songwriting and arranging skills are in evidence throughout. 'Farewell to the Horseman' opens with a gentle crawl, like a creature moving slowly but inexorably through a dark cave towards the light of day outside. Then it opens up to a mammoth, prehistoric expanse of unassuming but irresistible groove, with lead vocalist Stormie Wakefield soaring over the top. The lush, velvet production (feel that gorgeous, subterranean kick drum thump) gives Wakefield's voice equal playing field with the two all-important guitars. Drummer Brad Lawson plays with a lithe fluidity that reminds of Mastodon in a different musical context.

'Give it to the Mountain' aims to surround rather than pummel. The music is often loud, the guitars suitably overdriven, the drums pounding on the crash cymbal, but the sum total wraps the listener in a comforting sonic blanket instead of kicking you in the stomach. A gradually growing hypnotic sensation makes the 46-minute playing time go by like a breeze. Guitars know when to be simple (see the restrained, quarter-note verse punctuation of 'Deep Graves') and when to unleash fury, sometimes intertwining with each other and with Wakefield's smoky voice in a serpentine manner. Headbanging intensity reaches its apex in the slow-motion hurricane passages of 'Evening Lord'.

The album's only minor stumbling block is the penultimate track 'Bellow', a lazily drifting acoustic number that shows a different side of the band, but doesn't captivate and doesn't seem to add to the album's atmosphere beyond extending its playing time. That quibble aside, everything else about 'Give it to the Mountain' is an mind-expanding trip through the sun-bleached landscape of heavy Stoner metal in its best shape. Very recommended.


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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. Farewell To The Horseman
2. Deep Graves
3. Evening Lord
4. Autumn Wings
5. The Bridge
6. New Sorcery
7. Bellow
8. From the Wilderness, We Return

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Season Of Arrows bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-17 by Mark Rzeszutek
Frowning-Extinct
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