Samothrace – Reverence to Stone (20 Buck Spin)

Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

The staying power of Samothrace’s 2008 album Life’s Trade should not be understated. Melodic sludge at its bare minimum best, Life’s Trade was everything the style is and isn’t at the same time, meaning, that instead of being driven down in an avalanche of messy distortion, the melodies took you along for the ride. Or the race. Either way, the band took its sweet ‘ole time in following said album up, but what they have emerged with in the form of Reverence to Stone is no slouch either. This is serious business.

With Reverence to Stone, the band has split the running order in half, this time going with two songs as opposed to Life’s Trade and its four songs. Maybe next album they’ll just do one, but for now, the two cuts – “When We Emerged” and “A Horse of Our Own” operate in their own grungy sphere, with “When We Emerged” finding those sullen melodies after a drawn-out feedback segment, thus turning into another shining moment for a band that knows when to drop the melodic hammer at the right time.

“A Horse of Our Own,” like “When We Emerged,” has a lethargic pace to it, highlighted by the thrashing of crash cymbals and a fluent lead that kicks things off. Alas, when quiet time hits around the 3:45 mark, Samothrace have effectively cobbled together their strengths into one song. It ends up writhing around on the floor with a stream of pinched harmonics, deep Melvins riffs, and another guitar solo, which goes from blues, to shred all in one fell swoop.

Without mincing words, Reverence to Stone is almost as suffocating as its predecessor. A vital, forward-thinking entity in the ever-backwards and retrograde world of sludge, Samothrace are an absolute treasure. Fingers crossed that it won’t take four years for another album to hit.

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