Here’s a super kick ass bunch of lads: Stoned Jesus.
This granite-heavy stoner doom trio hails from Kiev, Ukraine, and have persevered throughout the violent social upheaval in that country to continue work on their newest album, which I anticipate coming out sometime soon. Stoned Jesus was formed in 2009 and have released two LPs and a few EPs and demos along the way, my favorite of which is Seven Thunders Roar.
Released in 2012, Seven Thunders Roar is the second full length the band’s put out. Before I get to the music, I just have to say that the album art is stunning and if I could afford shipping a vinyl copy over from Ukraine (and trusted the mail service enough not to destroy it), I totally would.
It’s a double-disc gatefold piece with this psychedelic dichotomy gracing its cover. It evokes both an appreciation for the placidity of nature and inherent destruction brought on by Western colonialism. Someday I’ll hang it on my wall and stare at it for hours.
The the music does not fall short of the promise of the breathtaking artwork. The forty eight minute doom masterpiece is composed of just five songs. Most are, of course, slower than Washington, DC rush hour traffic and convey their baritone, bluesy riffage with the thickness and solidity of an ancient oak tree.
Sometimes it feels like you’re waiting for a tree to grow up all the way before a song ends, but it’s not an unpleasant wait during songs like “I’m the Mountain,” which clocks in past the sixteen minute mark. You just sit back and accept the melodic vibrations as they permeate your eardrums and massage your skeletal system. Other songs have a superb rock and roll bounce that brings Wolfmother and Queens of the Stone Age to mind. The balance between these songs make the album’s dynamics very enjoyable and consistently interesting.
My favorite track on the album is the final tune, “Stormy Monday.” You can tell by listening that all three of the Stoned Jesus dudes really released a lot of emotion into this performance. The guitar solo is Led Zeppelinesque in its bending, anguished whine, which is not something a whole lot of folks can pull off accurately with a decent amount of originality.
So if you’re looking for a great heavy doom album with clean vocals that you can probably throw on during a date with that special someone who just refuses to get into Wormrot, you’re quest is over, dear reader. Jam some Stoned Jesus.
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