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Behold, the second one. - 50%

olo, January 26th, 2008

They were nowhere to be known in the scene. All of a sudden and out of nowhere, they were on a major-backed label, all over MTV and getting major press, making them an important Stoner Metal band. Scene expert snobs were busy discussing the cred of this band and as expected, the opinions were divided about them. This was 2006 and the album was called Age of Winters. We listened. It wasn't bad really. We all knew they were a decent band and we could spot the Sleep, High on Fire, Corrosion of Conformity, NWOBHM influenced riffs and the half formed ideas that somehow failed to lead into genre epics. It was just about a nice addtion to your collection and almost everyone, no matter if they liked the album or not, looked forward to the second album to see where they'd take this sound.

So yeah, it's 2008 believe it or not, and it has happened. Gods of the Earth is what it's called and this is going to be released coming April. On the positive side, this isn't 'more of the same' because they've genuinely evolved a bit. For starters, there's lesser slow/stoner-metal nods and more NWOBHM/80s metal, perceptibly finer chops, more harmonized leads and the increased and improved usage of euro sounding scales. Even with a more metal direction, the band is content with sticking to the same style of singing and raw production. The vocal style, I assume, is not everyone's cup of tea and I personally think it really would've lifted the music to have had a more powerful singer ala JB (Grand Magus, Spiritual Beggars) or even someone like Matt Pike's Lemmy-smoked-and-played-thrash as heard on High on Fire.

The music is interesting in parts but bland on the whole, while catchy melodies, great riffs and hooks are few and far between. Unlike Mastodon who (deserved all the fame and praises to begin with more than these blokes and) delivered a great post-hype album to sustain everything they struggled to achieve, this band lacks that extra bit to give their label a special album. Sub-par arrangements and sub-par songwriting are generally the keywords here and the album has turned out a lot weaker than the debut. If you want to dig a little deeper, there's also the sub-par drum work to notice but that's the least of the worries.

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