Saturday, May 21, 2011

EP Shakedown: Mother of God - Forging A New Path

Still spinning with the new bands that I discovered (or rediscovered) from The Soda Shop Comp. Vol 1, which is the point of a compilation of that type right? I figured after re-listening to Lo-Pan and Whores of Tijuana, and then reviewing Gozu's debut, the next logical step was Mother of God, for some good ol' stoner/doom. As I drink at 6pm on a Wednesday (yea, I finally have my articles cued up again), I'm just going to sit back, relax and let the sounds of this great act wash over me. Their wall of sound style of stoner is great for this, as I'm learning.

First thing, Forging A New Path has a lot of fuzz. Let the intro to the third track, "Blind Monkey," show you that. It is what leads to the wall of sound comment I made before. If you can't find a millisecond of silence, or a slight dip in energy coming at you, that is a wall of sound as far as I'm concerned, and this EP is full of it. While the disc itself isn't really slow or doomy enough to be accurately classified as stoner/doom metal, it is too slow to be straight up stoner. It falls into that rarely utilized classification of tempo and style, which oddly helps out the release as a whole. It gives the group enough of a stylistic leniency to play on both sides of the fence. Some songs are a little more on the doom side, while others are more straight-stoner.

The beginning half of the four song disc are plainly within the 'more on the doom side' of things. The songs "Four Wanderers" (which was on The Soda Shop Comp) and "Ancient Tracks" are much more doom orientated then the rest of the release, something I could see spilling over onto their first major release. Odd item of note, "Ancient Tracks" sounds like it should be titled "War Machine" with how much mention this line gets in the song, as well as the overall subject matter. I guess the War Machine can leave Ancient Tracks or something, and I know that song names don't have to follow the song at all, but it strikes me as a bit different.

The aforementioned "Blind Monkey" sounds more grunge/post-grunge then anything truly stoner. The long bass-only intro (or down-tuned guitar, impossible to tell) leads into a full-band secondary into, but which quickly fades into a very 90s vocals and guitar driven verse. This is what gives me reason for the grunge tag previously, as the song goes between the full band at the choruses and the guitar and voice verses. It's a different feel then the rest of the disc and stands out accordingly. The next and last of the EP, "Into the Unknown," returns us to the almost doom style of music, although this time with a little more groove/jam then the first two songs. It seems a better fit as a transitional song, and would have done better between the doom and the grunge songs, as opposed to the final track, but every one has their own take on how things should be so no fault there.

The is a great EP, probably one of the better ones I've heard so far this year (with this new weekly segment I've probably heard more EPs this year then ever before, hell you could probably add up all the previous years and combined 2011 has the crown) and for this reason alone you should take notice. While no song takes the cake, as a whole this is a good third-of-an-hour release to take your mind off your shitty life. I know it worked for me.

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