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On a path to luminescence. - 90%

Witchfvcker, March 3rd, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Neurot Recordings

Veteran rocker Tad Doyle is best known for fronting the grunge band TAD, who were central to the early 90′s Seattle scene. Despite never reaching the commercial heights of their pals in Nirvana and Soundgarden, TAD were a heavy-minded bunch who made their mark upon the burgeoning grunge genre. In recent years Doyle has drifted towards darker and more colossal pastures, founding Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth in 2007, and contributing to Lumbar’s crushing The First And Last Days Of Unwelcome, which also featured YOB’s Mike Scheidt. Focusing mainly on local gigs so far, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth only have a demo and a split to their name, which points to this self-titled debut having been brewing for a while. Together with his wife Peggy and The Annunaki’s Dave French, Tad has penned another monster of a record.

From the groovy opening of “Lava”, you could be forgiven for mistaking BOTSC for just another stoner band. As soon as Tad’s feral growls and the tectonic riffs start crashing in, however, it becomes blindingly clear that this is Doom with a capital D. There are hints of the thundering riffs of Conan or High On Fire on “Lava”, but the opener soon gives way for a deeper form of spinal rumbling that will henceforth be synonymous with Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. A lumbering behemoth of a song, “Empires Of Dust” steadily trudges along at a funeral pace. Still, it is not until the half hour triple storm of “Unnamed”, “La Mano Poderosa”, and “I Am” that BOTSC truly emerge from the tarry pits of sludge.

“Unnamed” is favorably comparable to the magmatic sounds of YOB, but combine those elephantine riffs with Tad’s own flavor of cataclysmic aggression. It’s a wall of sound, a spiraling march to hell, yet still intensely psychedelic. With a bass that comes at you like a sledgehammer, Tad’s increasingly majestic voice, and hypnotic riffs and drumming, “La Mano Poderosa” continues down the staggeringly heavy path. Finally, on “I Am”, all the mounting tension explodes in a way that is both jaw-dropping and gravely emotional. I could go on about how great these tracks are, but you’re honestly better off listening to the song below for a taste.

After the sheer mass and passion of YOB’s Clearing The Path To Ascend, it seemed unlikely that anyone would take a shot at their smoke-drenched throne, yet here we are. Between the earth-shaking heaviness, apocalyptic atmosphere, and endlessly resonating riffs, Doyle and his companions have pushed the bar through the stratosphere. Anyone clamoring for the sound of planets colliding in slow motion will reap immense satisfaction from Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth.


Written for The Metal Observer