Weed Demon – Astrological Passages

Now, I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but when the band’s name is Weed Demon, their logo looks like a pot leaf, and they’ve got some crazy spaceship action happening on the record sleeve…it’s gonna be pretty hard for me NOT to dig it. This Columbus crew’s debut has just four tracks spanning 43 minutes—you might say they put the “stoner” in stoner doom.

The title track kicks things off with a full 10 minutes of hazy heaviness. Starting off with a wah-heavy intro, the main riff crawls along overtop a pounding, Hakius-style backbeat. The vocals sound like they’re belched out of a broken bong, like Al Cisneros on even more marijuana. “Sigil of the Black Moon” is a minute longer and a little more mellow, with a slower, doomier sheen and some tasty breakdowns that begin about three minutes in—and, as you might imagine, continue for several minutes afterwards.

Unlike its predecessors, “Primordial Genocide” begins with a great big bellow, a little more structured and in-your-face…albeit not really that aggressive. Music for angry stoners. But then about three minutes in, the heavy rhythm section fades out, and we get a mellow, almost soothing guitar riff that takes us into more post-sludge (or even post-rock territory) before a ripping guitar solo brings us back to doom. Did not see that coming.

“Jettisoned” is the longest song on here, just a hair over 13 minutes. This one gets my head nodding almost instantly with some spacey doom riffage, then sets the phasers to stun right around the four-minute mark before working its way back up to a doomy shuffle. Sounds like there’s even a harmonica on here, and they throw in a spooky acoustic past the 10 minute mark, ending things on an Americana note. Whoa, maaaan…

RATING: 7.5

smokeweeddemon.bandcamp.com/album/astrological-passages

Gruesome Greg

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.