Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Piece10 - Crash course in Stoner Metal

I don't know how I transitioned from listening to Devin Townsend's brand new album Addicted, to listening to stoner/doom metal, but it's happened. And it's awesome. For those reading who don't know, stoner metal is a genre founded on the roots of doom metal and incorporates elements of blues and psychedelic-rock. What comes out of that is atmospheric and dirty. Most bands have disbanded and their projects focus on different styles, but the original stoner metal started in the early 1990s. A few short reviews of excellent artists after the break.

Along with Kyuss, the forefathers of stoner metal in the early 1990s. And also a great example of how label interference can completely hobble artistic vision. Sleep had a penchant for long songs, and their final album Dopesmoker was a single-track 63:31 minute long epic, but the label demanded the album be split into separate tracks for marketing reasons. The band refused and for two years they refused to back down, and finally broke up because of the disagreement. Eventually, Dopesmoker was released April 22, 2003, eight years after it was originally recorded. Overall, a great band, more doom metal than stoner metal with slower tempos. After their disbanding, guitarist Matt Pike went on to found High on Fire, bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros along with drummer Chris Hakius formed Om in 2003

Recommended albums: Sleep's Holy Mountain, Dopesmoker
Favorite song: It's a tie between, Dragonaut on Sleep's Holy Mountain, and Dopesmoker.

Alongside Sleep, launched the stoner metal movement, but provided a different side at times. While Sleep relied entirely on distorted electric guitars, Kyuss had some acoustic tracks(Space Cadet and Capsized) that are simply amazing. Drummer Brant Bjork went on to join Fu Manchu and guitarist Josh Homme went on to form Queens of the Stone Age.

Recommended albums:
Favorite song: Another tie between Apothecaries' Weight from Blues for the Red Sun and Space Cadet from Welcome to Sky Valley.

I recently discovered this band, made up of the bassist(Al Cisneros) and drummer(Chris Hakius) of Sleep. Lyrically, Om is very spiritual in nature as the name reflects. This duo plays so well with only a bassist and a drummer. It gives me hope because I play the bass and plan on playing and maybe recording with a drummer friend of mine.

Recommended albums: To be honest, I've only listened to a few songs on YouTube, so I don't have any recommended albums.
Favorite song: Meditation is the Practice of Death on God is Good

Fu Manchu
Faster than the afformentioned bands on some songs. Lyrics talk mostly about cars, driving, and abstract extreme emotions. Featured the drummer, Brant Bjork, from Kyuss starting from the album The Action is Go.

Recommended albums: In Search Of... , The Action is Go, King of the Road
Favorite song: Saturn III on The Action is Go

Happy listening and Happy Thanksgiving everyone

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