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Acid King > Down with the Crown > Reviews
Acid King - Down with the Crown

Perfecting the formula - 88%

iamntbatman, November 16th, 2009

Following a bit of feedback, the earth-shattering riff that kicks off "Teen Dusthead" is an immediate indicator that Acid King are absolutely not fucking around on their followup EP to 1995's Zoroaster. The guitar tone hear is as meaty as a nice porterhouse, further cementing Acid King's status as stoner metal rather than stoner rock.

This time around, the guitars are absolutely saturated in the mix rather than panned to either side. When Lori pulls out a solo, that massive guitar tone doesn't relent like it did on Zoroaster. The riff writing has gotten substantially more concise, as well. "Teen Dusthead" sounds like a more refined take on Zoroaster's sound, but second track "Full Reverse" has a punishing riff that's a bit unexpected but ultimately not out of place. Just to be sure, the band opens up into more spacey territory about halfway through the song to remind you that you're listening to Acid King. The bass is just as prominent as always, never straying too far from the main riff but still just as recognizable in the crunch as the guitar, which is always welcome. Drums are economical but effective, as usual for Acid King. Lori's vocal approach here has forsaken the more in-your-face, motorcycle-riding attitude in favor of the reverb-heavy spacey vocals used more sparingly on Zoroaster.

The third and final track on this EP shows Acid King's first foray into lengthier compositions, nearly doubling their track length record up to this point in the band's discography. "Phase II" begins with an extended guitar piece, almost drone-like in quality and drenched in feedback. The bass lurks deep underneath the sheets of distorted guitar. Finally, more than five minutes into the song, the drums crash in and the song kicks into overdrive. The song pulls off that oh-so-rare feat of being an ideal soundtrack to just zoning out yet being interesting enough throughout to justify a closer listen.

If you liked Zoroaster but thought the whole thing could have been turned up a notch or two, give this EP a shot as it showcases the heavier sound of later Acid King. Fans with a taste for stoner metal more rooted in traditional doom or heavy blues rock bands might be turned off by the increase in guitar weight here but will probably still enjoy it.