Tue 6th August 2019
A split of two bands and four songs; yet more new names from Portland bringing fully formed and outstanding stoner, doom, sludge music with distinctive slants; they must dope the water supply city-wide up there with some creatively potent hallucinogens.
First up, Hound the Wolves. Godhead takes its time with an exploratory opening, the sounds coalescing around 4 minutes into a forceful post-metal-ish surge, deft edges of a stoner sound possibly traceable on the tinges of the guitar work, bringing with it a slight psych twinge that gives it a real edge. You think the song ends around 8 minutes gone, but it continues, vocals that have a touch of Scott Hill or Dave Wyndorf in them over instruments holding back, biding their time - for nothing as it turns out, as the song peters out to a bit of an odd ending.
They follow with Live Through the Day, Run Through the Night. The clean vocals over airy lightness teeters close to post-grunge cheese, but just about keeps its balance, but only into a median of acceptability, suffering an irrelevance in the shadow of the expansive opener.
Then there comes Glasghote, arriving with Croatoan. This is different, heavy and with a presence to back it up. The screeched vocals betray a sludge allegiance, the static guitar tones that begin make you wonder if it has a repeating darkest doom threat - Indian-style - but it opens slightly from there. It grows and growls, creeping one minute, violently lashing outwards another. It is mighty and impressive.
Eye of Ra presents more destructive, addictive sludge - I'm into Glasghote's back catalogue online immediately after my first acquaintance with this release.
It's always good to get varied styles on a split - too often you get facsimile bands vying off with the same tempo and approach. Here, there is a clear divide to fend that off, and the result is two bands shining in each others company.