Olde Growth - Olde Growth

Crawling out of the swamp of Sludge and Doom comes this two piece from Boston called Olde Growth. This band is a revelation of sorts because i had never heard of them till a friend recently stumbled upon their Bandcamp site and saw they are giving away their album as a free download. The band is not much more than bass / Vocals ( Stephen LoVerme) and drums (Ryan Berry). They did have a guitar player in Ben Forleo who worked with the band in 2006 and 2008 but as far as i know doesn't appear on this album in any capacity. The band has already played with Thrones, Black Pyramid, Ocean, Kayo Dot, Elder, Riff Cannon, Finisher, Now Denial, The Under, Jesuscentric, Summerduck, Planetoid and Perun’s Shore so they have done their fair share of live work, this makes it more of a mystery as to why i have never heard them before. Bands like this should never be hidden as this is killer Stoner Doom with influences such as Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Sleep, Kyuss and Neurosis but with a sound that is heading in a direction all of its own.

From the opening track "The Grand Illusion", the absence of a guitar is barely noticeable within the wall of rolling, crushing sound this 2 piece band creates. This tune attacks like a son of a bitch with tons of groove, down-tuned fuzz and punishing drumming that crashes and hits you between the eyes and ears. The bass sound runs through the entire gamut of Stoner/Sludge/Doom sounds from clean and driving to fuzzed out and doomy to the swirling psychedelic groove vibe. "The Grand Illusion" doesn't loose any of its power or its in your face attack throughout the close to 7 minutes, its is a gargantuan, pulverizing tour de force of raw energetic Sludge Metal with a solid, infectious Stoner Rock groove. "Life In The Present" takes off into the cosmos with Sabbathian riffs and howling angry vocals, there is a definite Sleep vibe in this tune especially in the second riff which sounds like it could have come straight off the Holy Mountain album. A Psychedelic mood switch comes in before they hit the gas pedal and the song takes off into a chaotic mid-tempo neck snapping, aggressive section. the track returns back to its original vibe before coming to a sudden ending. "Cry Of The Nazgul - The Second Darkness - To The Black Gate" is the 3 part 10 minute monster track that comes on next and i don't know how to describe all the malice and sonic energy this tune puts out. As the title suggests, its really made up of three sections that are all very different from each other. First part is a kind of Psychedelic Sludge with a throbbing groove, second part is Doom in the vein of Electric Wizard and the third section heads into a mid-tempo to fast driving, swirling, twisting and turning freaked out jammy passage of grooves and infectious melodic vocals. This track has it all and more and is the centerpiece of the album and overall the best track in my opinion.

"Sequoia" starts off in pure Sabbath mode, a plodding riff with some tortured moaning vocals that tear at the senses. Again another mid-tempo change keeps the track interesting before we head back to total doomsville for the final couple of minutes. The most simple track maybe but also one of the best tunes on offer here and one for the Doom Metal purist. "Red Dwarf" is a short but sweet instrumental Space Rock interlude before you get you get swamped with the bombastic dirge of "Everything Dies". The first half of the track is slow building and ambient but it slowly escalates to sonic brilliance, no vocals but just a great dramatic musical journey. The album has taken a turn in Space Rock realms by this point and is less Sludgy and Doomy but still killer in the extreme, Psychedelic mood department. The final tune is another epic, "Awake" takes a 10 minute trip into various dark moods and sounds. Starting with a simple bass line and gentle drumming, it lowers you into a feeling of floating away to someone tranquil but that peace is soon shattered by a earth-shattering bass tone full of fuzz. More mood and tempo changes keep you guessing and keep you locked into the vibe which is slightly haunting. The melodic almost whispered vocal lines blend with hollering vocal parts while the music switches back and forth between the melancholic to the downright nasty. "Awake" is a great piece of epic songwriting that never drags or loses your attention.

I cant really say this is perfect but its damn close, the playing slays throughout the entire album, the production is full and its almost impossible to find any weaknesses in the sound. Its pretty rare when you hear a 2 piece band as sonically charged as Olde Growth. I highly recommend you get yourself a download of this album before they become the next big superstars in the world of Sludge, Stoner and Doom. Olde Growth take on all these styles and master them all with ease so really they could dedicate themselves to any of these genres and they would nail it, no problems. As i said and i can't say it enough, don't miss out on this. You will dig it, trust me on this one.

1. The Grand Illusion
2. Life In The Present
3. Cry Of The Nazgul
4. The Second Darkness
5. To The Black Gate
6. Sequoia
7. Red Dwarf
8. Everything Dies
9. Awake

Self released
Reviewer: Ed
Oct 6, 2010

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