Artist: Dungeon Weed
Album: The Eye of the Icosahedron
Label: Forbidden Place Records
Release Date: 03/03/2022
Country: United States
You know those moments when you’re about to listen to a band’s second album and think “there’s no way this will be as good as their first album, it was just so good?” Half the time you end up being right, a quarter of the time it’s actually on par with the first album and a quarter of the time the band prove you completely wrong and just outdo themselves. I am very pleased to say that this is one of those rare times where Dungeon Weed have proven that there was in fact room for improvement from their debut 2020 release Mind Palace of the Mushroom God.
The band really didn’t have to go as hard as they did with this album, but they did it anyway, they did it for us. Not only have they released a stellar offering of doom/death/sludge/heavy psych with elements of noise and dungeon synth, but they did so in the form of a double album that runs for well over an hour. With 16 tracks of filthy, murky, fuzzy reverb and distortion and heavily psyched out elements the release is something that you need to prepare for before listening to. You must prepare both mentally for an undertaking this monumental and prepare enough time to listen to the album in a single sitting for full effect.
The album is a veritable mixed bag of goodies, with each track being different to the last but all making sense in the context of the album. Some tracks such as Dream Powder are psyched out mind benders with an almost spiritual sort of feel to them. Meanwhile, the opening track One Thousand Years is a menacing slow burn of a track that focuses heavily on atmosphere. Invocation of Y’ag Z’gyroth is a filthy blend of doom death and sludge that will pummel the listener from start to finish. Some tracks like Time Crash and Beyond the Door of Meta-Consciousness are far more doom leaning with psychedelic elements in the mix. You get my point though, there’s a lot of a variety involved in the album.
To speak in a more general sense the guitar work on the album is extremely varied. You’ll find crushingly heavy fuzz laden doom style elements mixed in with filthy, caustic sludge parts. These give way to crisp, clear, meandering psych elements that break through the heaviness with ease and at many points overlap with them. The bass on the album is stupidly thick and heavy and suits the guitar work perfectly. Drum wise we get an equally as varied offering that is tailored perfectly to suit the string elements on the release.
Vocally we get a dual assault from both Dmitri and Thia. They offer multiple varied styles between them from epic clean female vocals to raw crushing sludge/doom death vocals, heavily distorted effect laden semi spoken vocals and murky doom vocals and everything in between. Lastly, but definitely not least we have the heavy use of synth on the album which I honestly believe is one of my favourite elements. Without this added layer of texture and sound the album would be nowhere as immersive and engaging.
Overall, I have to say that this is one of the most fascinating releases to have dropped in the world of all things fuzzy and heavy in some time. The release feels like a breath of fresh air in a scene that many consider to have felt somewhat stagnant as of late. I highly suggest carving out the time and giving this baby a full spin and your full attention.
Listen to and order the album: