The sun’s shining (-ish) and it’s actually warm enough to wear a t-shirt, looks like our half-assed winter has finally given up and headed home. In light of this completely unrelated weather based victory here’s some tasty tunes to get you through this Tuesday.
Aspen are a doom/stoner band from Barcelos, Portugal. You might be wondering how you could possibly want to listen to another stoner band and the answer to that is, your not high enough. Toke jokes aside, Aspen’s debut release, “Winds of Revenge” is a wonderfully fuzzed out mix of stoner jams, doom atmosphere and epic overtones. Since they’re an entirely instrumental effort, they have to put much more emphasis into their music to convey the same kind of mental catharsis.
While it’s only a 5 track collection, which puts it firmly in the EP range, the songs have a cohesive quality that lets them all almost flow together as they would on a full length. I really only have one niggle that I’ll get out of the way right now, the into track “Arashi”, it was an atmospheric build up, but at 2:10 long, it dragged past the built tension and just made me impatient to get my head banging.
They more than make up for this on the real opening track, “Autopsy Headcrush”, a weed fueld riff romp that reminds you what you came here for, foot taps and head bangs. The next track, “Winds of Revenge” feels somewhat like an interlude for the two excellent closing tracks. It’s not a bad tune, it’s just outdone by it’s other song sisters. “Like Crows, They Drop” is where Aspen really start to open up the taps and get things into a deep and dark groove. Seamlessly blending all of their influences into one smooth jam, it dance from a charging gallop to a doom ridden crawl, all without missing a beat.
The closer, “Owing to Lilith” keeps up the aural assault, with hammering doom sections tastefully melded with some more upbeat jams. While the entire release is quite good, it’s really the last two tracks that make this memorable, and that’s not a bad thing. The entire EP is up for 5 Euro on Bandcamp ($6.50), and we’ll hopefully have a full length to look forward to soon.