|Art by Moses Saarni|
Samothrace have been a busy bunch. Since releasing 2008's Life's Trade, the group moved from Kansas to Seattle where they have been gaining esteem by playing absolutely pulverizing live sets opening for some the world's best sludge and doom acts. By doing so they haven't let their fans forget the brilliance and importance of their first full length, a piece that crossed the doom/drone bridge into un-ventured fields populated with rare beauty.
Reverence to Stone has been a long time coming but the band proves with their music that patience is indeed a virtue. With this album, Samothrace has somehow made things even slower and heavier, creating one of the most massive-feeling records of the year. They shun funeral doom, instead playing with hopeful melodies that build themselves a mile high at a leisurely pace. Vocals are sparse but loud, only rearing up when the riffs reach a crushing crescendo to add to the already devastating weight of the sonic journeys. This is a recording where what the band isn't playing is as important as what they are. Every rest, breath and ringing chord is precise and calculated, intertwining melody and patience into an inseparable fusion.
At 30 minutes, the LP is a bit on the short side for the genre, but comparing Samothrace to unworthy peers would be doing them a disservice. These mathematicians have perfected their formula with no excess or filler . Each note, cymbal crash and pregnant pause is a part of the master plan, one they alone have the ability to write.
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