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The BEST Stoner Metal Album Ever - 100%

MoonPenatrator, January 9th, 2011

The title pretty much describes it. If you are a big stoner metal/rock fan, and have not heard this album, you have not really experienced the greatness of the genre. Tumuli Shroomaroom got me into stoner metal. This may sound like I am exaggerating, but I promise you I am not. Now, on to the review.

First of all, the atmosphere of this album is like any stoner metal band, with all that fuzzy, awesome, Blue Cheer-esque type of sound, and throw in some Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath influence in there. Mix that with the vocals being somewhat thrown into the background in the mix, which create the perfect stoner-y sound. All their songs on this album sound the same in this sense, but I'm not complaining. This makes the song transitions and flow the best out of any album I have ever heard. That being said there is enough variance within the songs to make it not repetitive, especially with the acoustic instrumental of "Turn the Page," which gives the listener a break for a minute, and goes back to the same fuzzy sound.

This fuzzy sound is also accompanied by the bass, which I need to use a whole paragraph to describe, because the bass makes a huge part of the album. In my favorite track, "Find the Path," the bass has the most fuzz in it, and you can notice this most in the fills when the riffs are about to build up. You can also notice this very clearly during the solo, when the bass plays a sort of melody. It's not just in this song either, it's in every single song on this album, and in the rest of Acrimony's songs, it is just the most apparent on this song.

Usually,around here, for a review, I would make a list of songs I didn't like off the album, and say "oh this song sucked because blah blah blah..." I can't do that with this album, because, well, there are absolutely no bad songs on this entire album (thus earning the 100% rating). Every song got my thumbs up to say the least.

This album is about 1 hour in length, and if you listen to the whole thing, it will feel much less than just 1 hour, because by the time the first song is done, you would have already been hypnotized, and it will seem like time had stopped. I have to say, this album gave me the most intense listening session of my life, and I was sober. For any fan of stoner metal/rock, or even just and appreciator of different kinds of metal, there is no reason not to take a good long listen to Tumuli Shroomaroom.

Rolling thunder thru the vast expanse of space... - 100%

Witchcult_Reverend, July 15th, 2008

Listening to Tumuli Shroomaroom for the first time I felt transported back to a primordial time where sound came from the heavens and caused man to cower and hide. Acrimony delivers that same soul crushing sound in their approach to stoner/doom/space metal. This is not your average Sunday afternoon listening party stoner metal. This is ACRIMONY! Starting off with the sonic explosion of Hymns to the Stone this does not let up with the exception of track three, Turn the Page, which to their credit is a short (minute forty five second) instrumental interlude. This reminded this listener of Sleep’s Some Grass. Half of the songs would be considered extended jams (greater than 8 minutes in length) while the rest are shorter and tighter but you are not left out on the sonic invasion. The aforementioned Hymns…, Million Year Summer, The Bud Song, and Firedance are some of the best songs ever by a group completely immersed in the stoner culture. Scratch that they are some of the best songs ever recorded. The visuals that are produced while listening to this album are truly excellent. Rarely has an album done so much so quickly for me. I wish this album would never end but at least I can always play it over again and again. While they are in the vein of Sleep and Electric Wizard they are not a copycat act in the least. They are Acrimony and they have a genuine heavy sound that may not be reproduced again in our lifetime.
Wales’ own could not find a niche in their lifetime but thankfully due to the age of the internet and re-releases by Leaf Hound records their legacy shall never die. They were the four (5 actually) horsemen of the Apocalypse waiting to unleash their fury upon the masses.

Feels like a compilation album but it isn't - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 9th, 2008

Reissued in 2007 with new artwork, this 1996 album sounds very fresh (the production may have been tweaked a bit for re-release) and the songs are quite good and consistent. This makes me wonder why the band Acrimony didn't get the attention they should have got back then; I can only guess maybe people in the UK weren't ready for a Welsh band that didn't sound like another Manic Street Preachers and that could actually play decent retro-'70's psychedelic stoner metal with a bit of a prog rock influence. More so in fact than the over-rated and excessive Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting UFO Paraiso from Japan who were apparently slaying people in Europe and the US with their brand of psychedelic heavy guitar rock during the same time Acrimony were active (late 1990's / early 2000's). But as the cliche goes, it's better late than never and second time now is a good time as any to bring Acrimony to a more appreciative audience than what they had earlier.

This is a long album (65 minutes) so it could be expected that filler material will appear but after hearing this disc several times, I finger the brief instrumental acoustic episode "Turn the page" as the main junk-out material. Every other song on the album has at least one thing - a good catchy riff, a particular turn of melody, a trance ritual section, some change in the guitar sound that establishes a different mood and feel - that distinguishes it from the others. The band has a good raw and deep sound, sort of lite-Cathedral / Black Sabbath but more melodic and light in feel (and yes I do see two members of Acrimony were called Lee and Dorian so the band must have had more than its fair share of Cathedral jokes in its time!), which the musicians use to good mind-bending serpentine effect on tracks like "Vy" and "Find The Path". Vocalist Dorian Walters has a good raspy voice with a hard edge which helps to give the band's sound a more up-to-date hardcore kind of aspect and his singing occasionally reminds me of the young James Hetfield back in the early 1980's when Metallica were lean and hungry. Walters does have a limited vocal range, his voice sounding much the same all the way through, and when he goes "yeahh ..." on songs like "The Bud Song" and "Motherslug (The Mother Of All Slugs)", he doesn't draw out those "yeahs" into long soaring sounds that could draw out the energy and the fire in the music more.

The best songs on the album include the spacey trance-inducing whirling dervish "Motherslug ...", probably the best song here; the majestic doom opening track "Hymns To The Stone"; "Vy" with the sinister melodies and almost molten riffs; and "Heavy Feather" and "Firedance", both of which boast memorable if rather poppy riffs and melodies. A favoured trick of the band is to start a song slow or heavy or just a bit melodic and then about halfway through the track launch into a danceable groove or hypnotic repetitive trance loop, this is very obvious on the first track "Hymns To The Stone". Whichever the band does, it sure fucks with the body's rhythm (you just wanna get up and dance or get down and boogie or just get into whatever direction you fancy) or the mind, especially with those long loopy trance bits. So if a song isn't initially to your liking because it's a bit slow or sounds too pop-oriented, don't despair, give it a fair hearing and it will do something different that'll lift your spirit.

Being a long recording with good if not very original songs spaced throughout and covering a wide range of subjects (space travel, Celtic mythology, ingesting hallucinogenic substances, the beginning of creation) in bizarre combinations, "Tumul Shroomaroom" feels like a best of / compilation album so it's a pleasant surprise for me to find it actually is just a studio album. Some of the later songs are rather long and there can be a lot of repetition in a couple of them so the later stretch of the album can be a bit of an endurance test but this is not a concept album so the songs can be enjoyed on their own.