Rating:
7.5
Last Barons - Cheval De Troie
16 November 2012


01. Shaman's Warning Song
02. Nomad Soul
03. Rubber Boots
04. Hidden Sun
05. The Violent Kind
06. Going To Varzi
07. From Beyond
08. Soul Grinder
09. Anthik Technik
10. A Last Devotchka
11. Cosmogony And Dimensions Of The Mind
12. End Of The Beauty


I'm a fanboy for old, classic acid rock. The Doors, Hendrix, Country Joe & The Fish, and Jefferson Airplane all top my list for both essential 60s music as well as essential music to sit back and just mellow out to. Stoner metal, however, sometimes tends to fall short of this legacy for me, the large majority of stoner bands I discover tending to go more towards a monotonous groove than towards the dreamlike, hypnotic atmosphere that is the legacy of the acid rock movement. Every now and then, however, you come across some bands (Yob, Aarni, etc) that do pay homage to this legacy, blending some of the more melodic, atmospheric underpinnings of it with the traditional thick, heavy sound of stoner metal. France's Last Barons are one such band, their 2012 effort, Cheval De Troie being a good example.

Granted, Cheval De Troie does definitely have plenty of moments where the band gets into some traditional, heavy stoner-ish grooving ("Nomad Soul," "Rubber Boots," "Soul Grinder"). But this isn't all there is to the formula, as Last Barons seem here to be just as focused with throwing in some more mellow, melodic moments as they were with their previous effort, 2010's Elephantyasis. "Hidden Sun," for example, kicks off with a delightful bluesy acoustic guitar that would probably make even the likes of Bobby Krieger smile, and "Soul Grinder" follows in similar suit with a middle section to it that is quite easy to just sit back and relax to, as does "Cosmogony And Dimensions Of The Mind."

There are really no tracks on Cheval De Troie that are purely psychedelic, except for the brief little instrumental "From Beyond" and the closer "End Of The Beauty" (the strongest track on the album, in my opinion). Really what the music Last Barons put forth on this album is traditional stoner metal interspersed with a few more atmospheric moments here and there. And while said moments definitely help make the music more interesting, at times it can feel like they simply aren't enough, and that Last Barons should have pushed them a bit further.

Other than the fact that the psychedelic elements of Cheval De Troie come across as a bit underdeveloped, it's a pretty decent stoner album, with catchy riffs and catchy vocals galore (just throw on "Going To Varzi," or "A Last Devotchka" and you'll see what I mean). It's definitely not your average stoner metal album, further testament to the fact that the Frenchies have been drinking some strange new type of wine for the past decade that's been pressing them more towards experimentation than usual. Personally, as I said, I wish that Cheval De Troie had gone a bit more in the psychedelic direction, but for what the effort is, it's definitely effective. If you like groovy, memorable stoner metal with a few mellower, atmospheric moments thrown in here and there, you'll probably dig it.

Listen on Soundcloud and find out.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 06.03.2013 by
Apothecary
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a master. But without innovation, it is a corpse."
-Winston Churchill
More reviews by Apothecary ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 7  
Users visited: 67  
Search this topic:  


Illog1cal - 06.03.2013 at 02:47  
I thought that was Cthulhu on the album cover, then I realized it was an elephant a few minutes later....
Dane Train - 06.03.2013 at 03:52  
I am going to try and find this album! Thanks for the review!
Apothecary - 06.03.2013 at 06:05  
Written by Dane Train on 06.03.2013 at 03:52

I am going to try and find this album! Thanks for the review!

Any time, my friend. It's honestly probably more rock than it is metal, kinda in the same sense that Stoned Jesus and Electric Moon are, but it can certainly get heavy here and there, and I'd be surprised if stoner metal fans don't enjoy it. If it tickles your fancy, you may also wanna peek at the album before this one too, Elephantyasis. Yes, the band seems to have a fondness for pachyderms.
BloodTears - 06.03.2013 at 12:47  
I really liked this release last year. It is very eclectic and alternative as it takes a bunch of influences and merges them well together without sounding weird. Might have been overlooked by some but it is definitely worth listening to.
Dane Train - 06.03.2013 at 19:26  
Written by Apothecary on 06.03.2013 at 06:05

Any time, my friend. It's honestly probably more rock than it is metal, kinda in the same sense that Stoned Jesus and Electric Moon are, but it can certainly get heavy here and there, and I'd be surprised if stoner metal fans don't enjoy it. If it tickles your fancy, you may also wanna peek at the album before this one too, Elephantyasis. Yes, the band seems to have a fondness for pachyderms.



I was able to listen to Elephantyasis on Spotify last night. I was really enjoying it. still have to finish the whole thing. I'm in a band that plays psychedelic stoner doom metal so I am always on the look out for similar stuff!
Apothecary - 06.03.2013 at 19:54  
Written by Dane Train on 06.03.2013 at 19:26

I'm in a band that plays psychedelic stoner doom metal so I am always on the look out for similar stuff!

In that case, you may wanna add Yob, Aarni, and Om to your list as well (the links to the former two on here being in this review). Yob's earlier stuff was really monotonous and thick, but lately they've been getting a bit more psychedelic and melodic with the formula. I'd recommend checking out their latest, 2011's Atma, and working backwards from there. Om are a duo that actually has Al Cisneros (yes, from Sleep) on bass and vocals. Their older stuff was also really monotonous and thick, but lately, especially with 2012's Advaitic Songs, they've been developing this very unique sound that's almost like "folk doom metal or something." Very Middle-Eastern themed, piano, cello, Hebrew chants etc... you have to hear it to believe it. And Aarni are this one man Finnish stoner metal project of Markus Matomaa, although honestly the label of stoner metal doesn't do the guy justice. It's more like avante-garde psychedelic metal, by far some of the strangest shit you will ever hear.
Some recs for ya
Dane Train - 06.03.2013 at 22:55  
Written by Apothecary on 06.03.2013 at 19:54

In that case, you may wanna add Yob, Aarni, and Om to your list as well


Thanks! I have Yob and Om already but don't know Aarni. I will be checking him out!

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Last Barons - Cheval De Troie 7.5 07.02.2013 by Ag Fox
Reviews Last Barons - Elephantyasis 5.5 21.10.2010 by Chainer
Reviews Monster Magnet - Last Patrol 4.5 30.12.2013 by R'Vannith
Reviews Horse Latitudes - Black Soil 3 26.07.2013 by BoxCar Willy
Reviews The Flight Of Sleipnir - Saga 3 25.02.2013 by Chainer



Hits total: 1809 | This month: 38