Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Samothrace Reverence To Stone

Samothrace  Reverence To Stone

By: Chris Davison

I don't know much about Samothrace, save what a brief spell of research via our old friend Professor Google. I do, therefore, know that they are located in Seattle. I also know that they named their band after a Greek island, which is nice.

Reverence To Stone is a roughly half an hour, two track affair, which will already have the more astute of you guessing that this is doom metal. In fact, doom metal it is, with a progressive, airy take on the genre alongside the usual leaden pace and general air of misery. “A Horse Of Our Own” is a long, torturous journey into claustrophobia, punctuated with glimpses of extreme agoraphobia and the widespread aural landscapes produced by Spartan drumming, feedback and distant, “echoey,” shouted vocals. This is not happy listening. There are occasional flashes of almost-approaching mid-tempo sections, which are then shot through and left to die sprawling on the floor. “When We Emerged” is a slightly more energetic track, but that really isn't saying much. This is pretty much all about feeling the echo of the last chord, the spaces between the clashes of cymbals and the hammering of the void against the feedback.

You're not going to have a good time listening to this, but then, you already knew that. Not all listening must be happy, affirmative or life positive. There are some times when being an introspective, miserable and (let's be honest here) self indulgent individual is all we want. For those times, this album is what you need; it's what you crave. Good music for bad times indeed.

Editor: I mildly disagree with Chris on this one, as I find Samothrace to be one of the best funeral doom acts around. That said, though, Reverence To Stone is a bit lazy with one of the two tracks merely being reworked from an early demo. And, this comes after a four year gap since Life’s Trade. Hmph.

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