rtist: Indica Blues
Album: We Are Doomed
Label: APF Records
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Country: United Kingdom
The band hail from Oxford, United Kingdom and have been active for the better part of a decade. They play a fantastic blend of doom, stoner, desert and psychedelic rock, as well as some blues. This is their second full length album and follows their 2018 album Hymns for a Dying Realm. The band is Andrew Haines-Villalta (bass), Tom Pilsworth (guitar and vocals), John Slaymaker (guitar) and Rich Walker (drums). The killer album art is courtesy of Cristiano Suarez.
I hope you like pure, unadulterated stoner doom, the kind with heavy fuzz, catchy riffs and hooks and a tonne of groove, because that’s what you get with, We Are Doomed. I say pure stoner doom, but that’s not exactly true because as I mentioned there are definite elements of psychedelic and desert rock on the album. It’s these influences that help keep the album that much more interesting and give it that extra bit of swagger and trippy charm. There are also definite blues elements present, which personally I am thankful for. If you want to know what to expect from the album, I’ll try to oversimplify and compare it to the obvious classics by saying that it makes me think of bands like Black Sabbath, Kyuss and Fu Manchu, but then at times combine that with the harsh edge and dirtiness of Electric Wizard (with cleaner vocals though).
The tracks on the album are all somewhat in the same vein but each has a very different mix of elements, focusing on different aspects of the band’s sound. For instance, the opening track, Inhale, very much has a Kyuss energy to it, featuring the upbeat desert rock energy and catchy, groovy riffs, but blending in plenty of smoother, fuzzier stoner doom elements. Then when you look at track 2, We Are Doomed, it clearly takes far more of an influence from bands like Electric Wizard, with a dirtier, harsher, more downtuned tone and harsher, more ominous vocals. Then on track 4 Soul Embers you will see a lot more of the psychedelic and blues elements take center stage, culminating in a smooth and honestly quite beautiful piece of music. You will see a little more of that on track 6 Cosmic Nihilism which is a fantastic instrumental piece that has some truly psych based parts to it but also brings some crushingly heavy fuzz and reverb.
The tracks that follow are of the same nature in that each one varies in sound and style, while still remaining within the same overall aesthetic. It’s the bands ability to create diverse music while still staying true to a single pure sound that makes this album so great. Well, that and the killer riffs, fantastic vocals, thick and chunky bass and the impressive drum work. The production quality also needs to be mentioned, this album sounds fantastic, the recording quality is great, but the mixing makes it sound almost perfect, with every instrument shining through.
Overall, I absolutely loved this album and at present its sitting in the top 5 of stoner/doom releases of the year for me. Basically, if you are a fan of the genre you need to listen to this album. Two tracks are out on streaming services at the moment, but the full album drops tomorrow and if you really can’t wait you can find the full album on The Sleeping Shaman’s website at the link below.
Listen to and order the album below:
Listen to the full album: