‘Latest slab of epic, apocalyptic, psychedelic doom from A Storm Of Light, the project of Josh Graham, who also plays in Red Sparowes, Blood And Time, and of course the psychedelic doom sludge granddaddies of them all Neurosis. So it makes sense that Graham’s project explores similar sonic territory, but where Neurosis is all downtuned crush and bellowed howl, ASOL is more spaced out, more Hawkwind, more melodic, more atmospheric. Even more so than the last full length, As The Valley spends much of its time drifting, and smoldering, hovering and shimmering, but when the songs do lock in, and get heavy, it’s still on the melodic psychedelic side of heavy, the vocals the driving force, way up in the mix, wreathed in echo and delay, giving the sound a bit of a Kyuss vibe, which is definitely not a bad thing, but when the band do crush, the sound MASSIVE, the guitars impossibly heavy, the production epic, but those stretches of extreme heaviness surprisingly brief with the tracks more often than not slipping back into the broodier moodier minimalism that much of the record explores, and those pronounced vocals, and the vocal heavy mix, definitely give this As The Valley a distinctly pop vibe, which probably screams sell out to some, but to us, just makes this less a doom metal record, or a post doom record, or whatever you want to call it, and transforms it into something tougher to pigeonhole, a sort of pop flecked metallic psych, or psychedelic doom pop. But let’s to put too much of an emphasis on the pop element, cuz this stuff is still pretty goddamn heavy, it just happens to have hooks and melodies, and chooses not to bury them, and instead flaunts them, and often lets the melody, instead of the riff, drive the song. Which is actually pretty refreshing…’
via [ aquarius records new arrivals list #373 ].
Get your copy at aQuarius, or when not in the neighbourhood, get it in our Discogs Store on 2LP (Black or Gold) or on 8-panel cd.