Genre: Sludge, Stoner, Doom Metal
Not long ago, in the eve of attending a certain concert in my hometown, i analyzed how much I am interested in the intersection of various subcategories of extreme music, especially when it’s giving birth to great results and stimulating the senses altogether. A band that managed to mix various and different kinds of extreme music was / is Dopethrone. The Canadians were created (more than) a decade ago and have already offered the music industry five full-length records, with the first one being titled “Demonsmoke”. As one can easily notice from the first moment, the band’s name choice (a Darkthrone reference point), as well as the font chosen to adorn the album cover (with a reference point this time to Venom), make the musical background of the band crystal clear. On the other hand, when you spin the record for the first time, you immediately realize that Dopethrone’s musical composition is a puzzle filled with pieces by Black Sabbath’s Doom side and pieces coming from the Sludge orientation of the (mostly Southern) United States. “Demonsmoke” encompasses everything an average metalhead / stoner wants to find: riffs heavier than Earth’s gravitational pull, alternating rhythms to keep things unpredictable, Black Metal vocals just to get in touch and reconnect with our long-lost selves roaming the cold and foggy Scandinavian forests and of course as much beat and crust as is needed to attract those interested in Punk. The combination of Doom and Hardcore (ie Sludge) elements with the intense distortions on the guitars, the accompanying drumming and fast tempo alternations, made “Demonsmoke” stand out and diverge from the wider scene. The peculiarity of “Demonsmoke” in relation to all the other releases out there in the Sludge Metal field is the Black Metal vocal performance, attaching a completely different character to the entirety of Dopethrone’s creation, but at the same time giving Dopethrone their own identity. Even a few seconds are enough to make you understand that what you’re listening to is a Dopethrone’s track. Personally, I think it’s a massive victory for a band to be able to make their own sound stand out especially amidst those who aren’t that much of a fan of the particular genre. Whatever the case, we’re talking about an album serving as a landmark for the Sludge sound, a record that can be enjoyed by many out there – at least those who don’t reject anything outside their comfort zone. Wherever you find Dopethrone, don’t miss their show and certainly don’t stay ‘dry’.