Adrift For Days – The Lunar Maria   3 comments

There has a lot of talk around message boards of late about what country has the worlds leading Doom Metal acts and one name that doesn’t come up much but should is “Australia.” The Aussies might not have the most doom acts in the world but in terms of quality, they can’t be beaten right at the moment. In fact off the top of my head I can not think of one sub-par doom band from the land down-under and if you want further proof of that country’s ability at producing quality bands, look no further than Adrift For Days. Formed in Sydney in 2009, this five piece doesn’t sound particularly Australian, not that many Aussie acts do anyway, they tend to build their sounds from a worldwide source blending in different facets of the Doom Metal spectrum. “Adrift For Days” could easily be at home in good old “Maryland, USA” or anywhere in “Europe,” they have a multi-dimensional sound that doesn’t tie itself to any particular country or scene. The band led by Lachlan R. Doomsdale ( I kid you not, that is his name or moniker ) is a powerhouse tight unit of musicians that have produced an album here that sounds more like a band of seasoned  doom veterans than a band still new and developing. This 70 minute monster of an album that features 7 songs, 4 of which extend way past the 10 minute barrier so this is a long, ambitious piece of work. The album is captivating, atmospheric and totally crushing but even more amazing is the mesmerizing arrangements to which these doom-sludge masterpieces are built upon.

Oozing its way out of speakers is the first installment of the album, “Bury All That’s Chosen” which is one part Earth and another part Om because it starts off barely moving but constantly building up a feeling of tension and a kind of paranoia, it is creepy and hypnotic. After around 5 minutes, the flood gates are opened to a tidal wave of Sludge and Doom but what makes so damn intriguing is the musical variations they throw in along the way. Sometimes it has an almost bluesy edge, other times it is very psychedelic, at times they sound like Ufomammut, other times it heads into a Electric Wizard Stoner-Doom vibe. Whatever gear they get locked into, it is staggering musicianship on display and the large amount of hallucinogenic, mind-bending sections that effortlessly interweave throughout the piece is the stuff to raise goose-bumps and give you the chills. The 60’s psychedelia vibe is all over this disc too, beautifully merging with doom and droning sections and despite being 15 minutes long, “Bury All That’s Chosen” is a stunning way to start an album. After a short interlude comes the second track titled “Messages Through Sleep” which you can hear the band adding an even darker twist to their sound, this track has a Pink Floyd kind of dreamy vibe about it that gets disturbing and very twisted in parts and vocalist Mick Kaslik delivers a very mesmerizing vocal performance in this tune. Tune in and drop out as they said in the 60’s and it is indeed a very heavy, dark take on psychedelia that makes you want to drop acid and float off in another dimension but you don’t need the drugs, Adrift For Days does that work for you. The dreamy feeling is shattered eventually by haunting, anguished screams and some killer guitar hooks proving their skills at multi-layered, multi-dimensional atmospheric song-building. When it all comes to rest some 12 minutes later, they could have ended the album there and I would have been satisfied.

The shorter and straight-forward “The Leech” follows and it is where the band put blues, stoner-metal and psychedelic rock into a blender and pours it out in the form of a thrilling rock-fest. Even though this is still a 5 minute track, this tune seems incredibly short after the preceding two epics but I put that down to the infectious nature of the material. Mick Kaslik again proves he is a multi-talented vocalist with another variation on his vocal style. At times he is in the Phil Anselmo mold, other times he is like Al Cisneros but he also has many other strings to his bow that constantly pop up and amaze. Lachlan R. Doomsdale and Ron Prince are also a flawless guitar duo as they unleash improbable riffs and solos with immaculate ease and finesse. On bass you have the rock-steadiness of Matt Williams while on drums is Steve Kachoyan who delivers a remarkable solid performance throughout that is not overly flashy but incredibly solid laying down a perfect foundation for the rest of the band. Halfway into the album and you are met with a highlight of the album in “Within These Walls.” While it is a case of the band on repeat to a certain degree, it is another mesmerizing effort lasting over 8 minutes and again using subtle musical variations to its maximum effectiveness. Adrift For Days does have a certain formula to most of their songs but when it is this good, why mess with it. Next up on the album is the longest track, Along The Moon River” that twists and turns for over 18 minutes. Here simple ideas are built into monumental moments of sludge meets psychedelia and drone ambience. The song seems to play itself as it naturally progresses with nothing sounding forced or thrown in just for the purpose of dragging it out for another few minutes of sonic self-indulgent drivel. It might be too expanded and long for some listeners but for me, I find it a totally engrossing piece of music.

The album ends on “Waveform Collapse” and it is appropriate way to finish up the album. It follows in the same bleak, doom meets psychedelic fashion but over-loaded with feedback and droning influences, it is kind of a predictable way to round out the album as many recordings seem to end this way but hell, it is still an absorbing track. This album may leave you asphyxiated and feeling slighty claustrophobic as this is a punishing way to spend 70 minutes but it is a one hell of a ride. The blend of crushing riffs, drones, and the psychedelic atmosphere is engaging and intriguing while the exquisite production perfectly enhances the dynamics within the bands songs. Fans of Ufomammut, Om, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Earth, Isis and even Sunn O))) will be hard press to find an album better than this with those kind of sonic capabilities but even other fans of Doom and Sludge Metal should find much to admire about “The Lunar Maria.” The stumbling block will be the elongated running times of most of the songs and maybe they could have trimmed the fat here and there to make a bit more concise but I am not going to complain too much, this is a masterful piece of work……………9/10.
Adrift for Days @ Myspace
Buy The Album Here
Download It For Free Here


Posted November 26, 2010 by doommantia in Adrift For Days

3 responses to “Adrift For Days – The Lunar Maria

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  1. Ah, definitely these guys are impressive! I had liked a definition of their music written somewhere, “smoked out psychedelic drone fuzz”. If this is a debut, one wonders what will come after!
    One of the coolest discoveries of 2010 for sure …

  2. I agree with Mari! Definitely a good find.

    Thanks Ed!

  3. Thanks for the kind words guys. if you'd like to help us our, repost our free download of our album where you can:

    We just went into the studio last weekend to do some preproduction for the next album (which we probably wont record til mid-2011). Very promising stuff. We might end up sharing a few demos of the new songs.

    We really appreciate your support.

    Love and drone,

    – Lachlan.

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