Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Crystall Balls / Kief Demon - Roots

By Karen A. Mann. Florida’s Crystal Balls create sweeping, stoner doom that uses elements of shoegaze and the occasional blackened bit to create a sense of decay and extreme anguish. Their songs tend to unfurl slowly, meandering in unforeseen ways, but carefully balanced between raw and refined
By Karen A. Mann


Florida’s Crystal Balls create sweeping, stoner doom that uses elements of shoegaze and the occasional blackened bit to create a sense of decay and extreme anguish. Their songs tend to unfurl slowly, meandering in unforeseen ways, but carefully balanced between raw and refined.

Roots is a split with fellow Floridians Kief Demon, and includes two songs by each band. “Baby Prison,” the first Crystal Balls song, begins melodically, with atmospheric looped guitars that are soon pierced by a guttural screech. Sludgy grooves, and vocals that toggle between shrieking and growling, take the song in a harsher direction. The band returns to a cleaner, shimmering melody at the end.

Their second song, “Altered Strain,” is more raw, with a lumbering, repetitive sludgy groove, and a blackened breakdown. Like “Baby Prison,” the song closes in a cleaner, more traditionally stoner manner.

Kief Demon’s contributions are rawer and looser, but still show promise. They tend to ride the line between sludge and Southern rock. All proceeds from their side go to HoneyLove, an urban beekeeping organization focused on saving bees and spreading bee knowledge.

“Paradox Void” begins with a raw low sludgy riff, punctured by the sound of bong hits and coughing along with inhumanly growls vocals. The second song “Crow Eater,” is their standout track, with a droning, hypnotic riff and more traditional vocals.

Roots is the first release by either band. At the least, it’s the only music either band has on Bandcamp. I’m hoping that both bands -- especially Crystal Balls -- issue a full release soon.


Tagged with 2016, blackened doom metal, Crystal Balls, free download, Karen A. Mann, Kief Demon, sludge metal
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