Deadsmoke are a band who have no mercy: this self-titled album of theirs is unrelentingly blackened in its delivery of crushing doom riffs, thick-as-mud sludge, and soulless vocal howls. Which is to say: it’s great! The band hail from Italy, and this is very strong for a debut. Out on Heavy Psych Sounds.
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7/10 Robin Staff review, 18 May 2016
Growlithe is the most doom Pokemon. It growls! And lithe rhymes with riff! Thank you: I always wanted to do a dissertation and now I feel like I’ve submitted one. We can now move on to some honest-to-god doom by a band who have maybe played Pokemon. Out here on the straightforwardly titled HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS (literally) are deadsmoke, or Deadsmoke, or DEADSMOKE depending on how loudly you need to yell to be heard in the gig room. They make the kind of stoner dirge that relies on huge, repetitive riffs -- dizzying, rather than hypnotic, in that they have a knock-out effect rather than a slow-burning one -- plus the standard over-enthusiastic rhythm section. Oh, and they have those clear-metuhl vocals that complete any slow band, with some echoing but ultimately quite calm skramz thrown in for good measure.
It’s a huge, homogenous slab, is what it is, but luckily the band are aware of it -- they intro songs like “Tornado” with momentary lucidity, introducing delayed guitar riffs before letting quietly intricate figures join them and eventually billowing through the whole thing with the drums. This kind of track approaches its heaviness carefully and thoughtfully, making for an atmospheric psychedelia that their gnarlier songs don’t have. “Night of the Vipers”, however, gets its riffing just right, going all emotional funeral doom on us and rivalling Thou for the genre’s tearjerker crown. I like it when these kind of bands sound like they’re climbing mountains rather than just stomping the ground, and “Night of the Vipers” suggests a lasting post-rock influence on these guys, a sense of aspiration in a genre that’s mostly about muk. Keep reaching, pals.
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