Monday, 13 May 2013

Lowburn - Soaring High (album review)

Lowburn didn't need to happen, it just sprang up out of a mutual love for all the great bands we take for granted (as per their bio): Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Blue Cheer, Acid King, Cathedral, Sleep and even ZZ Top.  You see, these "4 old geezers who want to rock" are past and present members of epic metal band Battlelore and don't exactly need some underground stoner side project to divert their attention, it's just that, their attention was already diverted, such is the power of Stoner Rock!

As an introduction to the band, 'Soaring High' gets the saliva glands flowing.  The title track crashes in with some busy snare work, spilling out into some big riffs, straight out of the 'Blues for the Red Sun' cook book.  "Running on Fumes" turns the screw on some of the heaviest, juggernaut rhythms one is likely to hear in this outsider's genre.  The power on display here is undeniable and in that way, very Finnish in its locomotion.  What's surprising is how well Lowburn fits within the genre.  Typically, Finns put an inimitable spin on even the most obscure of styles, making them the outsiders among the outsiders.  It's not often one hears a Finnish band play it straight, but no matter how iconoclastic the sound, I've never heard a Finnish band get it categorically wrong.  Lowburn of course are no exception to this rule.  Through it all, no matter which style or genre they play, one thing that can always be counted on is the power that the Finns produce.  Add to that the finesse of satisfying riffs and slick rhythms to put a smile on one's face and it's a double whammy, an unstoppable force of rock n roll.

"The Power It Holds" gets that Monster Magnet shades wearing, menacing strut thing going in a big way. An insistent background riff puts the listener into a trance to endure the punishing avalanche of flying riffs and grooves that surrounds it, like the eye of the storm.  With the listener still hypnotized, the band goes right into "Moonful of Stars" with only a minimal feedback oriented transition between songs, to offer another pummeling.

How much do you love stoner rock?  Is it possible to be excited about a sound that doesn't offer too much in the way of innovation or a new sound?  Of course!  Lowburn are an 'original' band in the strictest definition and earliest sense of the word, which is,  "an original work is one that embodies the same spirit as the works which inspired it".  There's no question this is an awesome debut from a quartet of veteran musicians, maybe playing in a bit of a different style, but who definitely know what they're doing.  Without even a single doubt, I know that if you like stoner rock, you will love this EP.  The CD version is already sold out (dang!), but you can still download this baby by following the links on the player below ...

Highlights include: "Running on Fumes" and "Moonful of Stars"

Rating: 5/5

Total Run Time: 19:08

Henkka Vahvanen - drums
Miika Kokkola - bass
Tomi Mykkänen - guitar and vocals
Tommi Havo - guitar
From: Lappeenranta, Finland

Genre: Stoner, Doom

Reminds me of: Kyuss, Mexicoma, Midnight Ghost Train, Monster Magnet

Release Date: January 26, 2013

Suggested Listening Activity for Fellow Non-Stoners: In the far distant year of 2020, people will live on the moon and go for a day at a private beach by hitching a ride on an asteroid, this is lonely beach asteroid music ...

Better Reviews:
Stoner Hive
Temple of Perdition
Heavy Planet

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