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III - 80%

theBlackHull, August 11th, 2013

As its title suggests, III is the third album from Dopethrone. At this stage we know exactly what to expect from the Montréal trio: a dirty cocktail made with the crushing heaviness of sludge, the trippy grooves of stoner metal, and the general simplicity and darkness of doom. You only have to think about Electric Wizard (where the band took its name) to get a general idea of the music, although it evolved into something else not unfamiliar with the likes of Sleep or Zoroaster. Being precursors of other stoner/doom bands on the Montréal metal scene, and an inspiration for many (including Buffalo Theory Mtl), Dopethrone developed a cult following and generated an interest abroad by touring extensively.

The title III is somewhat appropriate for it follows closely the previous two offerings. III is all about continuity, bringing no suprises, and slowly moving one step further to make it even better than before. This time around, Dopethrone got a more defined production; something we notice immediately on the mid-hi spectrum as the cymbals tend to be brighter and cover more than before. For the rest, we have the exact same style of music, about the same number of songs and length as on the previous Dark Foil, and the oh-so-good filthy patches of dirt stuck on their guitars. The themes seem to continue their journey onto the seas of dope and murder - we even find a cool little sampler speech on "Storm Reefer" about marijuana, set against a backdrop of dirty bass and drum.

Playing a Dopethrone album make your house go humid and warm every time. Left alone the rings of smoke, we could call it swamp metal... It's nice and ugly, its moving and depressed at the same time. I find the sheer heaviness of the band to be highly addictive, in good parts due to the granular distortion of the guitars, the low tuning, and the monstrous screaming. The riffs and grooves have this rockish twist that make'em easily enjoyable. And with such a beautiful cover artwork, one can't avoid the Dopethrone.

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