Venus Sleeps - Dead Sun Worship
Tartarus Records
Stoner/Psychedelic Doom Metal
5 songs (39' 53")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

It's almost the end of March, and I'm still catching up on some of the nice releases 2015 had to offer. Venus Sleeps's debut LP, Dead Sun Worship, is one of these. The sound is as heavy and furry as a whole family of Sasquatch, a true stoner metal sound with a blunt yet graceful edge of complexity.

The band's subservience to the almighty fuzz-riff is plain, beginning with the first track. The fuzzy rhythm guitar with leads harmonizing over it calls to mind early Pentagram, and indeed, one expects Bobby Liebling's sharp voice to break in at any moment, but the high-pitched vocals of Sie Carroll put the listener more in mind of a rougher-voiced Paul Chain. And while there's quite a bit of Italy's baroque doom in Ether Sleeper's atmosphere, there's also a good-sized taste of early grunge, a strangely-flavored combination that comes off surprisingly well. Traditional Sabbath-style riffing, complete with short bass breakdowns, give way to a softly droned interlude in the form of Golden Hair, making it sound like the band is playing the song in its sleep, with wails of effect-feedback blowing around the gentle chords like a storm.

Its successor, I Am the Night, is the biggest on the album riff-wise, and stands out as my favorite. Ponderous yet quick-footed in chord changes, it has the sort of sound Electric Wizard would have if they'd stuck to their Dopethrone-era sound, though Carroll can't quite give the same thin shriek of menace to his voice that Jus Oborn would be capable of. Doesn't matter, though -- the wall of guitar noise punctuated by the tripped-out wah-wah guitar solos are just what the doctor ordered (if the doctor was recommending a massive dose of narcotics, that is). And just when what's a fairly radio-friendly song thus far drags to a halt, one realizes it's only halfway over as the guitars spasmotically jerk to life again, yielding another entire four minutes of melodic stoner-doom with a heap of bluesy soloing. Age of Nothing, the final track, extends the magnum opus of I Am the Night with phase-shifted splendor, the guitar riffs rippling with bends and atonal solos on top of the flatly profound bass work.

This is a very solid album, especially for a debut, and a delight to hear for doom aficionados. Give this a spin, if only to hear I Am the Night, and you likely won't be sorry.

Bandcamp: http://tartarusrecords.com/album/dead-sun-worship

Killing Songs :
I am the Night, Age of Nothing
Andy quoted 82 / 100
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