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maanantai 23. syyskuuta 2013

Toner Low: III

Roadkill Recordz (RKR 23)
For some strange reason I have not heard the previous albums (I & II) by this ultra-heavy, psychedelic, down-tuned doom/stoner rock band from the Netherlands, but their latest offering really kills. The cool cover is all covered with marihuana leaves and has all the text printed in the in a very nice way so that you don’t immediately see it at all. There’s also an obi strip and a sticker to boost. The double vinyl version looks even more amazing...
There are four long tracks on the album, starting from “Phase Six” and ending in “Phase Nine”. Not sure what happened to the previous phases or if they ever even existed. The tracks on the previous album II were labeled “One”, “Two”, “Five” and “Three”, so maybe there is some kind of a continuum in here. The first track is faster (well, in doom terms), grinding and crushing heaviness somewhere along the lines of Sleep, High on Fire. Conan, Bongripper, Electric Wizard, Ufomammut, Phased etc. The sound is extremely heavy but not at all muddy as it sometimes is the case with this kind of bands. What an amazing, mind-blowing and numbing trip with harsh vocals! “Phase Seven” is very slow, gloomy and heavy stuff for five minutes, then there’s a lighter, more peaceful moment but next we’re in the middle of these crushingly heavy killer riffs again, and some insane, warped sound effects are added. Weird, scary shit… Luckily the next phase starts off as a peaceful organ drone and slowly builds up like many meditative Om songs. It gets heavier along the way, but stays hypnotic and repetitive. “Phase Nine” is the longest clocking in at 17:47. It’s almost instrumental (apart from some church choir styled voices in the background at one point) and I feel totally numb after listening to it. This is slow, heavy and crushing stuff until the five last minutes, when the track starts to fade out slowly and there’s only some quiet piano left. If you listen to this album at high volume, your mind will start to melt. One of the recent land-mark albums in this genre, for sure.

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