I’m gonna write the word “epic” in this review more times than I’ve ever done in a review. Because that’s how epic this album is: so epic. How epic? So epic that it has not one, not two, but three epic closers to epic off all of the epic. By the time “Solitary Traveler” hits, you’ve already listened to ten epic tracks and the slower, deliberate pace and the ringing chords makes you think, “Aw yeah, here we go, grand finale.” But then as soon as it finishes they launch into the faster, instrumental title track and you’re all, “Aw yeah, send us out on a faster pace. Attaboy.” And then they do it again. “Looking On” out-epics “Solitary Traveler” with its massive sound, slow pace, and its deliberately delayed backbeat. And you’re all, “Yeah, m-er f-ers, this is how you play it.” And the chords end, ringing out into silence, and you’re satisfied. And then, after a few seconds of glorious silence capping off an epicest end to an epic album, they do it. yet. again, picking up the pace and screaming out to a close with a kind of hidden track that isn’t so long after the main song ends that it’s annoying but instead is like the most epic, extravagant, and yet not bloated awesomeness to end all awesomeness.
So yeah, this is basically the love child of Queens Of The Stone Age and Electric Wizard. I haven’t heard a stoner metal album this good since Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone. And seriously, why aren’t there more stoner metal bands? It’s objectively the best album and apex of human sonic achievement.
I really wanted this to be a five-clowner, but I think it falls just a little short of being everything it’s massiveness suggests it should be. The sound is massive, but it is lacking a little…something. Not sure what it is. We may be reaching the limits of my audio equipment on that front, but still, I want bigger. Then there’s basically just the two tempi, fast and slow. The songs are a little bit samey in terms of, say, their timbre and key, and I feel like the guitar and vocals carry everything, with the bass and drums serving as adequate support but not quite bringing the same level of weight to things.
– “Letting Go,” “Kicking,” “Walk It Off,” “Reverse Inverted,” “In Pieces,” “Snakes Are Charmed,” “Sky Trials,” “Skin Moth,” “Solitary Traveler,” “Harmonicraft,” “Looking On,”
– “Kiss Me Dudely,” “Roaming”
Filed Between: Tora Tora (Selections from Wild America promotional single) and Tourniquet (Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm)
Song Notes: After the jump
- Letting Go –
- Kicking –
- Walk It Off –
- Reverse Inverted –
- In Pieces –
- Snakes Are Charmed –
- Sky Trials – Some peaking in the drums and the guitar riff is a little shrill, but still awesome.
- Roaming – Gets a little slow, boring, repetitive in the middle here.
- Skin Moth –
- Kiss Me Dudely – Too much Kiss influence here.
- Solitary Traveler – H.U.G.E.
- Harmonicraft –
- Looking On – Can’t believe I’m about to say this about a nearly seven-minute track, but the last 45 seconds are what really push this up to a full heart.