Artist: 10,000 Years
Label: Interstellar Smoke Records
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Written by James Sweetlove
The band hail from Västerås, Sweden and formed last year. This is their second release and follows their debut self-titled EP 10,000 Years. The band is Erik Palm (guitars), Alex Risberg (bass and vocals) and Espen Karlsen (drums). The album was recorded at the renowned Sunlight Studio in Stockholm and was produced by the legendary Tomas Skogsberg. The fantastic artwork is courtesy of Francesco Bauso, Negative Crypt Artwork. It really gives me a Luke on Dagobah feel and reminds me of his original crash on the planet on Episode V.
Before we get into the music, we need to address the album’s concept, which is crucial to appreciating the music fully. The theme mirrors classic sci-fi films such as the original Planet of the Apes, or a more modern Interstellar that discuss the space-time continuum and returning to Earth in a different time period following a journey in space. Put simply, the crew of the Albatross travelled through a wormhole and in doing so returned to Earth but 10,000 years in the future (hence the band name). There is a more complex side-arc regarding the Green King, an interdimensional ancient god along with others who travelled with the ship through the wormhole and have altered humanity’s history. In this reality humanity worships these gods and built their societies around them for thousands of years.
Okay enough sci-fi discussion (although I could and would love to dive far deeper into this, let’s talk about the music. Much like the band’s previous EP this is some downright heavy music and features more fuzz than you can shake a stick at. The band combine some of the best elements of Conan, High on Fire and Mastodon in equal measures to result in an equal blend of heavy and groovy, but also keeps things moving at considerable speed in parts. But there are other elements in there that will probably surprise you, from bands outside of the fuzzy realm which I will now discuss.
Vocally Alex gives us a blend between Tom Arraya of slayer and Jon Davis of Conan, with hints of Neurosis’s Scott Kelly. Now that may sound confusing because of how different those vocal styles are but give it a listen and I think that you will agree with the comparison. You may also say, “how do thrash style vocals fit into this album?” Well, I’m glad you asked, and the answer is that they pair with the heavy use of thrash riffs and hooks thrown into the mix on the release. Guitars wise we have a great blend of stoner, doom, psychedelic, NWOBHM and thrash elements, which ensures that things never feel dull for a moment. The ever-changing tempo on the release is truly engaging and keeps the listener on their toes.
The drum work is similarly diverse, primarily blending the heavier genres with some thrash elements, but I also feel a few NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal elements in there too, particularly on track 6 March Of The Ancient Queen. The bass work on the album is simply fantastic, sitting very audibly in the mix and playing a key role in the album’s overall sound. At times it takes the lead as far as the album’s driving force is concerned and rumbles on through complex arrangements and at other times it simply adds a whole other layer of heaviness.
As far as favourite songs on the album go it’s a tough call, because there are so many solid tracks on the release. For me though, the two that stood out the most are track 5 Angel Eyes for simply having some of the catchiest and grooviest riffs on the album and track 6 March Of The Ancient Queen, for those killer heavy metal elements that the band employ. Track 7 Prehuman Walls is another standout song for simply being heavy as hell and a solid offering of doom with some killer bass work. As far as heaviness and aggression go, track 3 Spinosaurus is a beast and will really get the blood pumping with a heavy thrash influence.
Overall, this is one hell of a release and easily sits as one of my favourite fuzzy releases so far this year. Given what I heard on the EP I had very high expectations for the album, so I wasn’t surprised in the slightest by how phenomenal of a release it turned out to be. I actually have very fond memories of the band’s debut release, being on a road trip with my wife in Colorado and blasting the album as I drove through the stunning mountain scenery on winding roads up to Aspen. I cannot wait to make new memories featuring this album. So, what are you waiting for, get your pre-order in today and check out the two already released songs from the album.
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