Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dopethrone - III

Dopethrone are a Canadian stoner/doom group who released their third full-length, imaginatively titled III,  this summer.

Somewhere in the wild Canadian wilderness, Weedeater and Electric Wizard gave birth to a feral child. That's the only way I can account for the crushing awesomeness that is Dopethrone (plus the name makes it pretty obvious where the band pulls their influences from anyway). That description, though, really tells you exactly what these guys sound like. They have the bass-heavy, groove-laden, monolithic riffs of Electric Wizard. And their hostile, hateful vocals come in a hoarse snarl so similar to Dixie's that this guy could take over vocal duties for Weedeater tomorrow and nobody would know the difference.

Psychedelic leads drift their way across the surface and solid drumming provides a backbone, but above all this crushing slab of doom is an absolute riff monster. It's heavy as hell, slowly crawling inexorably forward and obliterating everything in its path. Beyond just that, it's stunningly catchy. The energetic opener "Hooked" couldn't possibly have a more appropriate title, because by the time it was finished I was on the line and I was definitely not going anywhere. One after another, the remaining tracks rolled past in all their colossal glory, the crush only letting up occasionally to make room for assorted sound-bytes about marijuana, violence, or the occult (another trait courtesy of their namesake).

Given that everything these guys do is pulled straight from the playbooks of a couple of better established bands, I can't in fairness give them any points for originality. What I can say, though, is that III  is a distinctly better record than the newest releases by either of those two bands. At just 5 tracks and 37 minutes, it could be longer, but for anybody who likes the Wizard as much as I do, this beast is just plain fantastic.

Grade: A-
Phenomenally catchy, heavy, and enjoyable. I only give it a less-than-perfect grade because it leans so heavily on its progenitors and because it was over before I'd had my fill.

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