Egypt – S/T   3 comments

Doommantia doesn’t review many old albums but now and then a request comes in for one that deserves to be reviewed no matter what. This band Egypt was formed in Fargo, ND in 2003 and split up in 2005 but in that time recorded a 4 track demo that eventually got released on vinyl in 2008 by Lyderhorn Records. Still the band remained obscure but thanks to Meteorcity Records – that might end soon as just last year they released the demo on CD. Also strangely coincidental, the great Crestfallen Podcast recently played one of their killer tracks – I guess great minds think alike ha ha. The band made up of Aaron Esterby-Vocals &  Bass, Chad Heille-Percussion and Ryan Grahn-Guitar were not the most original band around but this album is a pure gem that all doom-heads should appreciate especially if  the sounds of Sleep and Saint Vitus mixed with 70’s psychedelic rock sounds is your cup of stoner-doom.

There is only four songs on this album but the bands execution on each track is total perfection. The opening track, ‘Valley of the Kings’ starts with a relaxing groove before knocking your ass in the dirt with thunderous rhythms and sophisticated melodies. Aaron Esterby’s bass is thick and sleazy and is the driving force behind most of the music. His voice is also stunningly good as he has a great vocal range, almost like a doom-metal version of Chris Cornell. Guitarist, Ryan Grahn doesn’t do anything flashy or complex but his playing is wonderfully psychedelic and manages to create a surreal kind of desert-atmosphere in these tunes. The drumming of Chad Heille is dead basic but it suits the band’s songs perfectly and the sound of the drums is suitably warm and earthly. By the time ‘Valley of the Kings’ has run its course, you are already mesmerized by the band and the best is yet to come.

‘Queen of All Time (Red Giant)’ is the most stoner-ish tune of the four and certainly the one that is the closest to bands like Sleep. This tune is classic stoner-doom with an opening hypnotic bass line that builds up into a churning, pulsating sabbathian groove much like Sleep’s ‘Dragonaut.’ The band was very fluent in terms of songwriting as they have class in their grooves, there is moments of Hendrix and Clapton inspired bluesy grooves just as much as they have elements of Iommi’s riffing techniques. The songs might be un-original but they more than make up for it with pure sophistication. The next tune up is ‘Dirty Witch’ which is like Sabbath gone funk-rock and there is no question about it, if this one doesn’t get your head nodding, you must be dead. The tune is so damn catchy, it is impossible to sit still to this tune. The album ends on ‘Touch Ground’ which starts kind of quirky but ends up being totally epic in every possible way. The grooves, the feels, the riffs are just irresistible.

This album makes me think of what stoner-doom might have sounded like if it had truly existed in the mid 70’s. It is stoner, metal, psychedelic and doom but it also has a slightly cheesy, funky blues – rock flavor. Egypt has been re-released by Meteor City to hopefully spread their music to the people who didn’t hear them the first time around which was next to nobody anyway. Seeing they were only around for 2 years and only have 4 songs to be remembered by, it is kind of sad that this is all there is. I hope this album creates enough of a buzz that it might push the people involved to think about re-forming the band. This album is a undiscovered masterpiece of stoner-doom history that must be investigated by everyone reading this……..9.5/10

Egypt @ Myspace


Posted April 29, 2011 by doommantia in Egypt

3 responses to “Egypt – S/T

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  1. Somebody played this for me about a year ago, & yeah i found it very “Sleepy” but I pretty much forgot about them, I'll have to check them out again.

  2. I picked this one up a couple of years ago, gave it a quick listen and waited for more music to come out. As nothing has I assumed that they had split, but it wasn't until now that I knew for certain.
    I do recall this EP/Demo being exceptionally good, but as it has been so long, the intricacies have been lost to me. I think it's about time to take it out for another spin

  3. One of my favourite CD from Meteor City in 2009… But it damn too short 🙂
    I've read Egypt played a re-union gig in 2010 in Fargo.
    Excellent review!

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