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Black Willows - Haze
9 February 2013

01. Haze
02. Doors Of Perception
03. Neptune
04. Haiku
05. Black Magic
06. Apache
07. Velvet Diamond
08. Set Us Free
09. Dead Mantra

Black Willows causes an altered sensory experience of senses, emotions, memories, time, and awareness for 6 to 14 hours, depending on dosage and tolerance.
Or at least so their bandcamp page says.

And while not exactly 100% accurate - I can still type (though requiring "Tower of Iron Will" levels of concentration) after auditory ingestion, I can say if perhaps this narrator at a point or two in his existence had consumed magic mushrooms or the hippie lettuce, this album was perhaps vaguely flashback inducing.

Bumped my way courtesy of the hommes responsible for Falling Down (speaking of flashback inducing), Black Willows is a Swiss four piece that traveled all the way to Austin, Texas (Texas, yeah! /AC/DC) to record the aptly named Haze.

So, yeah, flashbacks, drug references… okay.

(mustering concentration to continue through mental fog)

Yeah. So what we have here is another of those 70's retro psychedelic stoner bands, only they've made a much better convert out of me than most.

Consisting of stripped down, fuzzed out (and occasionally wah'd) guitars, clearly audible roving bass combined with clean vocals subdued enough in the mix that everything has space, and the band utilize this to great effect when embarking on long-ass retro space jams. Most of the tracks clock in around the eight minute mark… at times they feel like they run long, but hey, given the approach, it's not a bad thing. The closer, "Dead Mantra" goes a groovy Extra Value Meal 14 minutes in length, still without really dragging. It's easy to lose track of time while caught up in their Haze.

Most of their songs are astro-retro-stoner(ro) jams, reminiscent of Sleesak's wider orbits or Cathedral with better editing and vocals, "Black Magic" feels like an Om track. I'm name-dropping here as I really dig those bands, so that should paint a clear, though Dali-esqie picture of how much I am loving this.

It is really a never ending stream of passively engaging tracks. 70 minutes of stunning, insidiously engrossing music perfect to maintain a buzz, relax, or just chill the fuck out with.

So, like, yeah, man, if you are remotely into retro-astro space jams, Haze will bring daze and days of enjoyment your way.

Whoa… my hands, man… trails dudethisisawesome jf d;fjd;a …

(Editor's note… Bitter started babbling incoherently about pretty colors and "what if the Earth orbited the moon?" before apparently blacking out on his keyboard.)

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


Written on 18.08.2013 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››


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psykometal - 19.08.2013 at 04:36  
I don't usually go for the stoner/psychedelic stuff but this is pretty interesting.
Apothecary - 19.08.2013 at 05:09  
From how you described it, this sounds like some kind of bastard mutant child of Al Cisneros and Jerry Garcia. I am fucking SOLD
Diverge - 19.08.2013 at 06:27  
I like the sound of this-- I'll have to listen to this in its entirety. Thanks a lot, Bitter.

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