|Artwork by Dave Stoltenberg|
Twin Sisters, Forgotten Gods’ sophomore album is stoner doom from the Desert Altar in the best way. The album oozes hip shaking, head nodding riffs and smooth retro production, while an overall warm sound, and plenty of wah give it a laid back approachability that belies its weirdness.
Forgotten Gods’ first record, Fall of the Dagger, is a great collection of songs, but some of the production didn’t quite fit the hazy space-doom sound. The guitar, in particular, had a bit too much of a snarl for laid back stoner doom and the overall production was a bit "garagey" for the band’s sound. Twin Sisters, on the other hand nails the production. Everything sounds just right; the guitars have just the right “crunch”, the bass thumps out the groove and the subtleties of the cymbals are just as apparent as the thumping kick drum. Production-wise this is the best sounding stoner doom record of the year.
The music complements the excellent production to a T. Monster riffs abound with all kinds of great lead work and some wonderfully excessive, but brief, effects. Underneath all the boogie, though, things are just a bit odd. There are lots of chromatic runs and slightly weird chord voicings. You could miss them if you just want a rockin’ summer road trip album, but they give the record a great additional level for repeated listens. The effect is improved by the band otherwise adhering to genre tropes, rather than venturing into “progressive” or “experimental” territory. The closest parallel is Priestess' Prior to the Fire (one of my favourite metal albums).
With Bandcamp stoner doom is getting to be a crowded space. And while there is lots of excellent traditional doom metal there, between the bong worshipping excess of Eastern European bands and the coat of filth that American bands tend to apply. But there are few bands even attempting this kind of straightforward music, let alone pulling it off with such aplomb, and so successfully walking the line between rocking and weird.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]