Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Gran Poder
Southern Lord

Folks who find doom metal a little samey, maybe even hostile to innovation, will probably get a bitter laugh out of thse Spaniards' choice of band name. (Yes, unlike Japan's Corrupted, Orthodox come by their Spanish-language song and album titles honestly.) Southern Lord is offering their debut CD to American audiences, adding a cover of Venom's "Genocide" to the four tracks (three, really - one's a 90-second bit o' nothin') European fans, and the super-tuned-in, have already heard. This is a record that demands patience, or maybe just passivity, from the listener. Opening cut "Geryon's Throne" takes nearly 28 minutes to get where it's going, practically half the disc's running time. It's a rewarding journey, though, punctuated with plenty of slow-motion cymbal crashes and bass-amp feedback rumbles that accrue like lava flows, eventually forming into massive, towering riffs. There's a strong Melvins influence present, both in the vocals and the music. Whatever the drummer's name is (no band members are identified in the booklet), he does a good job of copying Dale Crover's powerful whomp. As is often the case with doom, much of the really interesting stuff's being played by the bassist. But the band gels quite well as a unit, creating an early-Sabbath mood that, even at its near-half-hour running time, never becomes merely static. Oh, and that Venom cover that's the secondary selling point for this edition of the CD? It's serviceable, demonstrating that these guys can play fast if they want to, as long as things stay primitive.

1 comment:

CaĆ­n said...

Hi man, do you own a copy of the Southern Lord edition of this? I have the Spanish releases of this and "Amanecer en Puerta Oscura", but I'm interested in the Venom cover from "Gran Poder". Would you please sent a mp3 or something to me? Thanks.