Various Artists - 4 Way Split [Split] review




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Reviewer:
7.8

4 users:
8.00
Band: Various Artists
Album: 4 Way Split [Split]
Release date: February 2019


01. Dopelord - Toledo
02. Weedpecker - Rise Above
03. Major Kong - The Mechanism
04. Spaceslug - Ahtmosphere


For reasons that I am not yet aware of, Poland has become something of a hotbed for stoner/doom metal this decade, to the extent that this 4 Way Split of some of the up-and-coming bands in the scene can't find space for the impressive Sunnata. Instead, it is up to Dopelord, Weedpecker, Major Kong, and Spaceslug to lay down their latest markers. And this collaborative release acts as a nice demonstration of the talent emerging in the country.

Of the four bands, I am most familiar with Weedpecker and Spaceslug, whereas this is my first encounter with Major Kong, yet it is Dopelord, who impressed me with 2017's Children Of The Haze, that gets the first chance to shine on "Toledo". With plodding riffs, distant vocals, and elaborate soloing, it acts as a quintessential display of everything you might come to expect from a stoner doom song. There's nothing here you wouldn't have heard previously and admittedly perhaps a bit more excitingly than this, but it's an enjoyable slab of fuzz to kick off proceedings.

Weedpecker continue in their shift from laid-back stoner rock to laid-back psychedelic/stoner rock, with chunky riffs mixed with dreamy, shimmering leads and tranquil vocals. To be honest, I wouldn't say "Rise Above" entrances me in the way the band typically does, with what I find to be a slightly awkward chorus vocal refrain; however, it's always good to hear more of this band and it's hard to find much to complain about with this demonstration of their capabilities.

"The Mechanism" acted as an introduction to Major Kong for me personally, and they are certainly the most rambunctious of the groups included in this split, with actual driving desert riffs and clear hooks. It's nice as a change of pace to have something to move to rather than swim in, and it smoothly moves through its various transitions. I feel like some vocals could've suited it nicely, but I don't think the instrumental approach particularly drags it down. Certainly I'll be looking out to hear what this band does in the future.

Ultimately, however, I think the winner on this record is clearly Spaceslug. I enjoy the melancholy touch to their sound on "Ahtmosphere", as it's not something I remember hearing from the group too much in the past. Added to that are the riffs, atmosphere, and adventurous songwriting that have been a staple of their previous records. I often get a vibe of being taken on a voyage through the darkness of space with this band (which presumably is intended given their name), and between muted, echoed vocals and tasteful guitar leads on this song, it's more of the same this time round. Thankfully, they also veered away from the extreme metal tendencies that popped up once or twice on Eye The Tide, which I wasn't fully convinced by.

This split displays both the quality and the variety of the bands currently operating in Polish stoner/doom metal, and whilst I'm not sure anyone delivers a career highlight, the songs act as further demonstrations of the bands' abilities.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 24.02.2019 by I'm just a guy with an opinion.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 48 users
25.02.2019 - 14:27
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Nice seeing you on the front page finally
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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25.02.2019 - 15:09
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 25.02.2019 at 14:27

Nice seeing you on the front page finally


Cheers, man!
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25.02.2019 - 15:13
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 25.02.2019 at 15:09

Cheers, man!

Cheers! More opportunities for me to nag you about writing about and listening to stuff
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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25.02.2019 - 16:22
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by RaduP on 25.02.2019 at 14:27

Nice seeing you on the front page finally

QFT
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My Author's Blog (in French)


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

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25.02.2019 - 20:29
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 25.02.2019 at 15:13

Written by musclassia on 25.02.2019 at 15:09

Cheers, man!

Cheers! More opportunities for me to nag you about writing about and listening to stuff


Already planning my next reviews (hopefully can get the next two written within the fortnight, although got a busy next few days)
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25.02.2019 - 20:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 25.02.2019 at 20:29

Already planning my next reviews (hopefully can get the next two written within the fortnight, although got a busy next few days)

Well good luck and godspeed
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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26.02.2019 - 23:39
I think I like Dopelord's track out of all of these most. It would've been great to have a Sunnata or a Belzebong track, but that would've made the album too long.
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26.02.2019 - 23:59
musclassia
Written by ConvergeIsMyLife on 26.02.2019 at 23:39

I think I like Dopelord's track out of all of these most. It would've been great to have a Sunnata or a Belzebong track, but that would've made the album too long.


I haven't encountered Belzebong yet, will need to get round to them at some point. I certainly wouldn't've complained if they could fit a Sunnata one in, but I guess it would depend if they went for the shorter song approach present on most of Outlands or the consistent 10-minute song approach from Zorya
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