Hark – Crystalline


Hark, here be another band with a Clutch connection.  Frontman Jimbob Isaaac has done artwork for ’em, along with the likes of Red Fang, Kvelertak and Orange Goblin.  In fact, Neil Fallon even makes a cameo on the last track on this album, so there’s that to look forward to.

This Welsh trio’s debut begins with “Palendromeda,” a solid slice of stoner rock that shows shades of the Fang and the Goblin.  (Kvelertak?  Not so much…) “Hounded by Callous Decree” leans more towards the former, minus the party-rock atmosphere.  These guys seem to fall more on The Sword’s side of the lyrical spectrum.  Killer breakdowns abound on “Sins on Sleeves” and “Mythopoeia” while “Breathe and Run” wouldn’t sound outta place on COC’s latest.  And let me tell ya, I liked that last COC record.

They save the longest for last, with Mr. Fallon’s appearance on 10-minute epic “Clear Light of…”  This song sounds like Mastodon or Baroness before they both went soft, a pretty decent piece of progressive sludge, though I’m not sure where Fallon fits in here.  Sounds like he comes in halfway through, and there’s some sort of reverb on his vocals, but hey, instant cred boost, right?

Simply put, this sounds like somewhat of a smorgasbord of several bands Jimbob’s done design work with.  And if you’re into the whole modern southern stoner sound, that’s not a bad thing at all.

(Season of Mist)

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.5 Rating