Sunday Sesh: Instrumental Open Swim
Hypothetical scenario: You and your four siblings are gathered around the dinner table, playing Dominoes and telling jokes after a peaceful Thanksgiving meal where no politics or romantic failures were discussed. Suddenly, your younger brother Chaz asks, “Hey Toiletmetalhead, I sure could use some swell music as a backdrop for this robust game of Dominoes! Please select something vigorous, but keep it instrumental!” What do you do?
Now, I know that scenario above is as unlikely as Gene Simmons not being a total creep, but bear with me. If given the opportunity to play instrumental metal for your family (and Chaz, with his typical Ivy League snobbery, no less!), what band would you choose?
Would you go with something classic that doesn’t require too much focus?
Would you choose something a bit more frantic to match the pace of your family’s bone-slinging and trash-talking?
Or you choose something more esoteric to really get weird with it?
To be honest, I think I’d try something new. I’ve made Chaz listen to all those records anyway, and thanks to the Winkelshnotz bros he’s hooked on kratom and only wants to listen to drug music nowadays. Enter Deadthrones.
As it turns out, the debut album from the doom duo, the appropriately christened Soothsayer, is an instrumental barn-burner that covers the vast scope and grandeur of doom’s heritage. Tracks like “Stoker” deliver massive, Candelmass-esque riffs and a stoner-derived crunch; others, like the short and furious “Mjolnir,” tap into the inherent rage of acts like High on Fire. Most impressive, however, is the seven-minute monolith of “Dragon’s Blood.” Its scale and beauty are most reminiscent of funeral doom and the Peaceville Three, thanks mostly to the intoxicating, introspective keys. At times the song even reminds me of the sort of transcendent atmosphere of post metal bands like Isis or The Ocean without ever stopping too deeply into the navel-gazing myopia of that genre.
All of it is steeped in a thick layer of grit and ash, thanks largely to the primitive recording procedure. The band, in an attempt to capture their craft at its rawest and most vulnerable, recorded these eight tracks in a single, long session with a lone microphone. That style of production is rarely heard in doom metal, and the earnestness and vulnerability of its creators only lends the album more weight. Soothsayer is something special.
So, now it’s your turn. Answer my thinly veiled vehicle for talking about Deadthrones by telling me what instrumental album you would play for your family at Thanksgiving. Sound off in the comments below.