Doom quartet Samothrace follow up 2008’s widely acclaimed Life’s Trade with the majestic and tragedy filled Reverence to Stone. Comprised of two tracks, “When We Emerged,” - a reworking of a song found on their 2007 demo - and “A Horse of our Own,” Reverence to Stone is thirty-five minutes of wonder and solemnity. Having disappeared somewhat after Life’s Trade was released, Samothrace began to come together once again as a band in 2010 when guitarist Renata Castagna returned to the fold to put the group back in forward motion.
The sweeping beauty of “When We Emerged” progresses with a sombre tone, wrapping heart breaking melancholy around deeply moving funeral doom pace and Brian Spinks’ voice (and guitar) crushes with dismal ire. It’s apparent that in the time away Samothrace have had the opportunity to fine tune their sound and Reverence to Stone is monolithic in its passionate intensity. The echoing guitar riffs that bleed through the screams and take flight above waves of abyssal despair are monumental and the band truly capture the aching desolation associated with loss.
“A Horse of our Own” pulses with a magnificently heavy bass line (Dylan Desmond) which rolls in weighty harmony with Joe Axler’s powerful drum beats. Never does one performance outshine another and each instrument holds the rhythm with commanding presence. The difference between the two tracks and the years between writing is in the smaller moments – the quietly morose section around five minutes in, the gentle whisper of defeat hidden deep within the despondent atmosphere, the punishing melody that breaks with no warning and rips the heart clean in two. It is divine and Samothrace have somehow created a work of bittersweet and overwhelming emotion on what is only their second full length.Incredible.
Soaring riffs crash with a hopeless misery and Reverence to Stone reaves a path of dejection and pain with expert timing and genuine feeling. Spinks wails with alarming ferocity over an almost psychedelic outro that ebbs and flows with mystery and feedback calls and Reverence to Stone ends on a howling wind effect that swirls and consumes with terrifying strength. Elegant. Imposing. Transcendent.
9.0 / 10
Bryan Spinks (Samothrace, vocalist/guitarist) SPB: How did you get so bloody heavy? Spinks: I suppose it is a culmination of some different things. Obviously ...
Posted March 23, 2014, 2:17 p.m.
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