With Maryland considered to be Doom Capital USA, it makes sense for any band from Baltimore with a few heavy riffs to be labelled as part of the movement—even if they’re not traditional doom metal. While Gateway to Hell has a few shades of Pentagram or The Obsessed on here, I’d just as soon lump them in with the southern doom of Virginia’s King Giant or the rugged riff rock of Borracho from Washington, D.C. But hey, it’s all within a couple hours drive, right?
And, whatever you wanna call it, their debut effort is pretty decent. Looks like they already had a demo from 2014 or 2015, but this five-song EP is their first official release. Clovers kicks off with the title track, opening on a bit of a mellow note, sounding kinda grungy a la STP, with the first southern-tinged vocal kicking in around the 1:30 mark. The King Giant comparison especially applies to the vocals—and hey, a couple of these riffs wouldn’t sound outta place on Dismal Hollow, either.
“Tin Roof” takes a more downtrodden path from the get-go, chugging along like peak Gates of Slumber, with the vocals adding a bit more southern grit. “The Drizzard” is more along the lines of Borracho’s fuzzed-out groove rock, with a killer riff that first kicks in around 30 seconds that’ll get yer head noddin’ like Fu Manchu. After a two-minute instrumental (“Rain for Days”), “Scorched Earth” hits back with a vengeance, a mid-paced, chug-a-lug slab of southern sludge. I’d go back for another helping!