Stoned Jesus – First Communion   Leave a comment

Stoned Jesus are an side project for Krobak guitarist Igor “Prog-Jester” Sidorenko and they come from the rarely heard about Ukraine and I mean rare in terms of Doom Metal. The band I have heard from there though have mostly been really good and Stoned Jesus are no exception. This four track/forty minute album is out on the Solitude Productions label and is a big departure from the usual Solitude Productions product, the label features mainly bands in the “My Dying Bride” Gothic style or Funeral Doom type acts but Stoned Jesus are very much in the Psychedelic/Stoner Doom vein of Electric Wizard and Sleep with an serious Black Sabbath jamming edge. The four tracks here, most of which are 10 minutes plus in length are very hallucinogenic and mesmerizing but more importantly have a loose bluesy, jammy feel about them.

The opening track “Occult” has an wonderfully organic riff and the production on this album is very warm and thick. The opening riff of the track cruises along with a tasty groove for a few minutes before it drops several gears into an plodding doom dirge, the likes of which is common but its done here with a lot of taste. The second half of the ten minutes is mostly based around some infectious riff work before the tune goes back home to the riff that started it all, its a very good opening track. “Red Wine” is the shortest of the three tunes here and is straight of the Sleep “Holy Mountain” song-book but with vocals straight from Black Sabbath circa 1972. He does indeed have a “Ozzy” twang to his voice but it suits this tune particularly well, there is more great guitar tones on here that are warm and fuzzy with a bluesy type swagger.

“Black Woods” is more Sabbathian worship in the Volume 4 vein, it has a lay back jamming groove but there isn’t a lot of riffs to enjoy here. Actually the song pretty much rides the same riff for most of the 12 minutes but its kept interesting with the use of some guitar effects and some killer lead work. The jamming vibe is in evidence throughout as it sounds loose and live while the analog, vintage sounds really capture a mood long since past in Heavy Rock music. Make no mistake, this is Psychedelic bluesy Doom Metal, the perfect soundtrack for bong-hits and despite its repetitive nature “Black Woods” stands out as the best track on “First Communion”. The album ends on “Falling Apart” and it gets even more Psychedelic and certainly more bluesy. Like the previous song there isn’t much in terms of variation as it is based around one single riff but its hypnotic and full of bass-laden grooves. Perhaps its a little too long for the lack of musical ideas presented but it still delivers the goods.

The bottom line here is Stoned Jesus are guilty of recycling riffs to a point but they are not really a clone of any other band but they are also not original in any shape or form. The overall lack of riffs means after 40 minutes of listening to this, there isn’t a hell of a lot that sticks in your memory. “Red Wine” is the catchiest and the easiest to digest but “Black Woods” stands out as being the most ambitious track overall. For fans of Electric Wizard, Sleep, Sabbath and Reverend Bizarre (the first track actually sounds like a RB song). I must say cheers to Solitude Productions for sticking this band on their label, it makes a welcome change to their usual output. Anyone who is a fan of the bands I mentioned will dig this but the band is capable of better, more unique work and maybe on the next album they will deliver just that……a low 8/10
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Solitude Productions

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Posted October 3, 2010 by doommantia in Stoned Jesus

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