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Destroy and conquer the world of hot fire

June 18, 2020
Weed Demon - Crater Maker

Weed Demon band set themselves up as true masters of suspense on their second full-length Weed Demon - Crater Maker album, foregoing the standard minute-long prelude in favor of two full-fledged instrumentals. Fortunately, these tracks offer distinct flavors as Atmospheric Drag starts things off with a bluesy acoustic twang while Birthquake shamelessly exploits the Sleep playbook over the course of eight minutes.
I keep expecting Al Cisneros to start bellowing at me at any second, but it’s an enjoyable exercise of self-indulgence. Once those tracks fade, the rest of album further develops the brutal yet spaced out stoner/sludge last seen on 2017’s Astrological Passages album. Serpent Merchant borders on death/doom through a heavy psych lens with its lurching chords and drawn out roars while the Crater Maker title track runs through a full gamut of dynamics as its bravado is eventually met by a jarring mix of haze and blast beats.
The Elder Tree Pyre and the closing Sporelord are more digestible in comparison, the former track featuring a more compact, straightforward structure while the latter riding out a steady mid-tempo groove with more melodic groans.
As fitting with the album cover, the musicianship plays out with otherworldly fire. The production might actually be a little too hot, during the most intense sequences with the drums, in particular, taking the hit for it. Fortunately, the playing itself is on point.
The guitar and bass tones are beefy yet grainy, with patterns whose timings often make it seem as though the riffs are encircling one another. The vocals are also executed well, reverbed for atmosphere, but still packing a healthy punch.