Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Stake-Off the Witch - Medusa (2010) / 85%

Cannelloni & Manicotti Doom pt. I: Sonic Look

Hailing from Piacenza (Northern Italy), this quartet explores pretty interesting sonic landscapes. The band, composed equally of two men and two women (something more and more recurrent in the Italian doom/stoner scene with bands like Kröwnn, Hands of Orlac or Black Capricorn). I personally adore the contribution of women in metal when it feels genuine and not forced like these symphonic unmetal copycats plaguing the world.

Fuzzy as fuck, the bass is loud and in your face and melds well with the double guitar attack. I immediately thought of Sonic Youth for some reason, the voice of Steph (guitar, vocals) reminded me of Kim Gordon a little and the wall of noise made me recall the wonderful releases of the American seminal band. She has a sort of charming, ethereal voice that would make me open my eyes even though I could be transformed into stone. There's even some male vocals in the catchy and groovy “Time is Over” to push the Sonic Youth analogy forward. She also reminds me of Laura Pleasants, a cute blonde handling the guitar like a boss always makes me blush!

Stake-Off the Witch plays some sort of really loud stoner metal/rock with definite psychedelic elements (the second half of “You Get Me Down” for example) intertwined with noisy but clear cut riffs supported by a solid but subtle rhythm section. It reminds me of the spacey sound of Kylesa mixed with an healthy dosage of noisy grungey influences. The songs are mostly fast or mid paced and can reach the seven minutes mark, they never plod though and the album doesn't deviate from their formula much. Their sound is pretty original as it includes influences from different genres to create something almost new, it won't change your world but it might make you like stoner rock a bit more. There's not a lot of criticisms I can find here, it's well done, well written and fun music by a very underrated band.

Their songwriting is intricate and rich and it's culminating with the two parts finale “On The Negation And Affirmation Of Medusa” with its heavy crushing riffs and soft entrancing vocals. If you like your stoner to be well thought rather than all about drugs and fun, this Italian band is for you, waste no time and get Medusa!

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