You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons “Population IV” (Cardinal Fuzz, 2015)
Despite the unnecessarily unwieldy moniker (quick – don’t look at the beginning of this review and tell me what the band’s name is), this is pretty powerful heavy metal shit (imagine a heavy meal soundtrack to El Topo), appropriately named after Randy Holden’s 1969 monstrous foray into metallic insanity. ‘Sad Alien & Winking Skeleton’ could actually be a hit single – three minutes of melodic soloing wrapped around a pummeling beat. The Eastern-tinged instrumental ‘Seya’ recalls the desert-baked psychedelia of Black Sun Ensemble and Cobracalia, but ‘Chapel Perilous’ may have stayed too long in the sun and meanders aimlessly for most of its eight minutes.
The slow burn of ‘Throne Control’ suggests Sabbath pillaging the Ennio Morricone songbook – heavy metal spaghetti Western, anyone? – but stretching three notes out to ten minutes risks falling into the same rut occupied by Sleep’s Jerusalem/Dopesmoker and becomes a bit tedious and repetitive. I don’t think stoner/doom metal is the effect these guys are going for. Closer ‘Hothouse’ saves the day with some inventive power riffing and imaginative guitar interplay a la Bardo Pond and Hash Jar Tempo.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015
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