A lot of the promos- perhaps not the majority, but certainly the main kind of music- that get offered up on The Sleeping Shaman tends towards decent if not amazing Sabbath loving stoner rock. It’s nice having something like this on offer for a change; no cheerful Iommi ripping sections, just crushing, simple riffs with a super raw production. For a little three track EP, this packs a wallop, no doubt.
Dismal‘s MO is a very simple one, and the first minute or two will tell you whether you’re going to enjoy it or not. The vocalist shouts a combined total of perhaps two different syllables, tops; he’s got the GRRNT and the RAGHHH, but that’s OK because the riffs are basically doing that too. There’s a bit of a funeral doom vibe throughout – I credit the way the riffs are allowed to flow on for a while and basically ring out every single note, and I swear Wretch has some nice Thergothon-ish touches in its’ riffs. It’s mixed in with a bit of sludge, in the way the vocals grunt and grumble, in the early Neurosis but denser pound of riffs like the one that anchors much of Reclamation. Simple ones that use just a few different chords – it’s a good formula, particular with the dynamic drums keeping everything interesting.
Credit must go to the production here too – whether it was a conscious choice or a budget driven one I don’t know, but it’s rough as hell and it’s brilliant. The drums – distorted, raw, roomy, the guitars with that delightful “this was recorded at a really loud volume” feel, a huge bass tone, the vocalist, sitting just so in the mix with a hint of reverb- perfect perfect perfect. Is there any possible way that Dismal could’ve captured their sound better, or in a more fitting way? I highly doubt it.
Yeah honestly, I know a review where someone says “This is great, everything about this album is rad” is never the most exciting to read. But that’s the case! Simple and effective. Ridiculously heavy.
One of those rare extreme doom EP’s that you actually wish was a bit longer. One of the most enjoyable releases I’ve reviewed yet on Sleeping Shaman – highly recommended!
Scribed by: Caspian Yurisich