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StonedCoven - 29%

GraveWish, November 30th, 2012

AstroCoven are a 3 piece stoner metal band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, formed in 2008. The band adopts the same formula of music pioneered foremost by the Californian bands Kyuss and Sleep adding to that some cracking Weedeater-type heavy guitar riffs. They released their second EP entitled “Time Dilation” in June, 2012. As a matter of fact, the EP consists of below average and, at best, average tracks and runs for about 32 minutes. I should start by saying that actually I have been playing this album repeatedly for a while now trying to find anything pleasurable to say about it; but, alas this turned to be exceedingly challenging! Let me get straight to the point, there is absolutely nothing enjoyable in “Time Dilation”! Yes, it’s unfortunately the typical old-fashioned stoner music played by unqualified upcoming musicians.

Sadly, one cannot help but feel that the band members seem too stoned to figure out how a song goes together. In effect, the tempo is relatively ultra-slow in a way that I was never able to play the 3 tracks of the EP in a raw. In spite of that, at some point you won’t miss to notice that the same structure was followed in the composition of all the tracks. Certainly, this will make the listening experience much more unsatisfying. Generally, the riffs have that worn feel as if the band is listening to old stoner metal records and trying to unsuccessfully imitate the sound. De facto, one cannot help but admit that the mess of riffs is continually found throughout the record. This is not to say that the riffs aren’t heavy, they are. Nevertheless, they are not by any means talented but irritatingly bland. Moreover, the drumming on “Time Dilation” is no better than the riffs. Speaking of the drums, the drum parts don’t fit the music at all. Effectively, they aren’t in synchronization with the other musical parts also they don’t give that characteristic powerful groovy feeling to the overall sound. How best to describe the vocals? To put it bluntly, outrageous! Honestly, if the band members are planning any further releases then they should definitely consider getting a new singer who can actually sing! One last thing I want to say is that even for self-released records the production is important, yes, of utmost importance. Matter-of-factly, the production on this album is obviously bad on some spots, but overall, it's not absolutely awful.

In summation, AstroCoven is one of those upcoming yet untalented stoner metal bands that still needs to work extremely hard in order to impress the listeners. What more can I write? On the one hand, if you are not a die-hard fan of such metal music you should certainly ignore this mini-album. On the other hand, if you dig old-school slow tempo stoner metal you may probably want to give this release a shot.