You can tell Blackwülf is from Oakland right from the opening notes of this, their third album—the Bay Area quartet channels local legends like Sleep and Acid King in their stoner doom worship. Speaking of legends, Geof O’Keefe of Pentagram fame plays guest guitar on a cover of the proto-stoner Cream classic “Sunshine of Your Love.” And if none of the aforementioned artists have you interested in this album already, then just go and put on Doom Side of the Moon. 😛
“Gate of Sorrow” kicks things off with a slow, fuzzy, wah-laden riff that certainly brings the likes of Pike and Cisneros to mind. Vocals are more along the line of John Garcia, giving it a bit of that desert rock feel, especially in the chorus. They pick up the pace to a more mid-paced Fu Manchu attack in the last two minutes, too!
The title track is more up-tempo fuzz rock riffage right from the get-go, up until it heads a big, heavy breakdown just short of the two-minute mark, taking things down more toward Saint Vitus territory, albeit briefly. Then they go full-on power ballad with “Waiting on Tomorrow,” which is an unexpected, if not unwelcome change of pace.
But it’s not long before we’re back to the stoner/doom. “The Tempest” has a bit of a Trouble vibe, while the creepy, crawling “Blind to Fate” displays shades of Pentagram, along with an extended psychedelic guitar solo. As for that Cream cover, it’s got a pretty solid vocal performance and a slightly doomier riff than the original, but it ain’t no Fudge Tunnel, that’s for darn sure…