Sludge Progs the Doom Psychedelicly Vol. 2
In case you missed Volume 1, this is where we put bands into a smelter and see what kinds of metal come out and in what quantities. This time, we are putting fire to the music of Kenoma, Torch the Sky, and Telekinetic Yeti.
First Ore Sample: Kenoma / The Tides Will Prevail from Translation Loss Records / Extracted: April 28, 2017
These Ohio gents unleash a sort of speedy doom with uptempo major key riffs above a sludgy backbone. When they kick into full doom mode, they employ that fuzzy clean tone most recently mastered by Khemmis that I find particularly enjoyable. When they fall back on some of their post-something tendencies, they sound like… well… most other instrumental post-something bands; however, the doom influenced sections are enough to keep them above the pack.
With almost a 50 minute run time over 5 tracks, I started to wish there was a little something extra, a rare vocal track or some kind of spliced-in theme, but the grooves are infectious enough. There’s some ambient nature noises (and really disturbing crying at the end of one track), sure, but maybe a little something more would take it to a new level. There are a lot of pretty slow parts, and I wasn’t too attached to those, but when they move to their aggressive or melodic sides, they are pretty exceptional. The first song on The Tides will Prevail is high quality listening, so that will have to do until the album comes out later this month.
Second Ore Sample: Torch the Sky / Desolation / Extracted: March 12, 2017
Brought to my attention by Spear, this New York solo doom project is astonishingly heavy. Underneath the full-volume growls and drums lies some masterful instrumentation work that really makes this a winner for me. The bass lines are often wonky and meandering in the best way and the guitars are subtly black, but none of this overrides its overall conveyed sense of doom. Between some of these heavy portions, there’s a surprising amount of calmer clean vocal sections to give your eardrums some rest. There are a few odd surprises in the short runtime, with ideas that don’t seem to fit, but I find the range is what left me wanting more. The mixing could be better and more even to make it slightly less abrasive, but I’m not sure if I want to hear everything clearly.
Your enjoyment of this EP might depend on your willingness to enjoy filler tracks as there is one between every song, but I find them to be perfectly haunting and set a post-apocalyptic industrial atmosphere. At just 24 minutes for the whole EP, take the time to get immersed. It’s a bit of an outlier for this column since it only registers in two categories, but it needed to be shared.
Third Ore Sample: Telekinetic Yeti / Abominable from Sump Pump Records / Extracted: March 17, 2017
I almost left this article with a big goose egg on the psychedelic side of things, so I went Bandcamp tag diving to bring you this next offering. I wasn’t not going to click on something called Telekinetic Yeti, and I’m glad I didn’t not. This duo from Iowa brings you some big daddy riffs just laden in that golden fuzz. It’s a pretty remarkable debut that proves the band is ready for the main stage at your local stoner doom festival. The draw of this band is easily pinned down to the interplay of the guitar and drums as they ebb and flow together to create a pulse in the smoky air. Though the vocals may not stand out as being a particularly enticing aspect of the album, I am glad they are there to keep them above the expanse of instrumental bands of this variety.
Branching out on songs like “Colossus” to include some post-rock atmosphere really does it for me as well. I love those doom riffs as much as the next guy, but experimentation in the stale genre will always get my attention. The outrageous and impressive “drum solo” on “Lightbearer” and the speedy and infectious guitar groove on “Himalayan Hymn” are just icing on the brownies. These are well-written songs.