Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, French Stoner/Doom band Wheelfall openly acknowledge their Sabbathy debt and aspirations for Stoner heritage by stating that this is a release ‘For fans of Kyuss, The Obsessed, The Melvins and Goatsnake… but also for all the lovers of the David Cronenberg, H.G. Wells, Jack Finney and John Carpenter’s stories’.
And sure enough, this is a heady mixture of slow and heavy sci-fi themed rock n roll that calls heavily on the influence of the original masters of the Doom riff as well as incorporating some modern inspiration to bring the sound into the modern era.
After the largely pointless prelude of random bleeps and sounds, the band put the pedal to the metal with the track ‘Howling’, sounding like Soundgarden going a couple of rounds with Mastodon which was a surprise considering the range of influences, that I thought it would be a more down paced affair.
After this initial rush, the real Stoner influences begin to emerge and ‘Holy Sky’ showcases a rich blues heritage topped off with Wayne Furter’s growling delivery which sounds positively frightening and ‘The Parasite Ravages’ is a jam room inspired riff fest that houses a great solo.
This flexing of the instrumental muscle, along with the ability to create a head down, driving groove, recalls Kyuss or Fu Manchu at their finest and along with the brilliantly titled ‘It Comes From The Mist’, the band can switch from meandering introspection to full on rock fury with ease.
This is no more evident than on the twenty minute epic title track itself where the band balance laid back intros, pinch harmonics and some of the sleaziest bass you’ll ever hear.
Overall ‘Interzone’ is a very professional album, it hits all the right notes and it sounds great… my one criticism is a little churlish really and that despite hailing from Nancy, France, they sound like they should be from the sun drenched California desert. The band has worked very hard to sound as good as they do, not too mention as faithful to their influences and in truth until I re-read the press sheet I thought they were an American band.
Still, this is a very minor stick to beat them with as when the music rolls, the band whip up a sonic storm that will render all the criticism null and void.
Hopefully when they are more confident in their abilities, Wheelfall can stamp more of their own voice on proceedings.
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Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden