Label: Electric Valley Records
Released: 27 July 2018
Buy Album: smokeweeddemon.bandcamp.com/album/astrological-passages
Band Website: www.facebook.com/weeddemonsludge
01. Astrological Passages 10:20
02. Sigil of The Black Moon 11:57
03. Primordial Genocide 9:43
04. Jettisoned 13:54
With a band name like “Weed Demon“, you probably already have a good idea of what this Ohio based band have in store on their second album, Astrological Passages. Tonnes of slow and low riffs make up the majority of this album but there are plenty of variations in there to keep things interesting.
Opening with the title track, this album lures you in with some nice and steady doomy sounds and vocals that sound like gutteral chanting. But as this track is ten minutes long, I, as a doom/stoner fan, know that there will be a change in tone or rythhm somewhere in there. And there is. As the song progresses it become increasingly dark, with the vocals turning to a blackened sludge style and the guitar sound growing harsher.
Sigil of the Black Moon continues in the same vein as the first track. Slow and low with chanting, echoing, vocals over the opening few minutes. But this one has a more defininite shift about a third of the way through. Things become nice and simple head banging stuff with the guitar effects giving a touch of psych to the great sounding extended guitar solo. If you love the stoner staples like Sleep, you’ll probably be really into this track.
Track 3, Primordial Genocide, ups the aggression with a smack to the face in lewe of any kind of intro. It’s slow and low, but also angry for the most part. As with other tracks, the long format gives plenty of options for rhythm changes, which this one has a few of. I really like the shift to something lighter to alleviate the aggression for a few minutes before throwing my ears back into the huge bass rich riffs.
Final track on this review copy (the actual release has five tracks) is Jettisoned. Super fuzzy bass lines and splashy cymbals. This one is fully instrumental and is easy to drift away to before the final third. There, the band up the tempo for a bit before dropping back into an acoustic version of the same riff, complete with some banjo over the acoustic guitar. It felt like a strange way to end the album to me after so many minutes of big heavy tones.
Overall, it’s a solid album, and will most likely fit into any stoner metal fan’s collection. The long format tracks are all about steady build ups, creating a mood, and then going on from there. Depending on your mood though, you may find yourself thinking that the tracks are touch too long, especially after a couple of listens when you know there’s a shift coming but you’re not sure when.