Premonition 13 – 13 …   Leave a comment

Scott “Wino” Weinrich doesn’t need to prove himself as a major force in the doom, stoner, sludge, and classic metal genres but he continues to do so on a seemingly regular basis. With his recent solo mostly acoustic album Adrift, and his work in Shrinebuilder and of course Saint Vitus – the man is legendary. Also no one can forget The Obsessed, The Wino Solo Band, The Hidden Hand and Spirit Caravan either. Maybe he is out to set a record for how many influential bands can one man create or at least join. Keeping with tradition, Premonition 13 are another trio which is of course is the ultimate in classic rock band formats. In this trio and on this album, Wino is joined by Matthew Clark on drums and Jim Karow on a second guitar and vocals and like the earlier EP they released, Wino also lays down the bass for this recording. It is pretty safe to say the result is a predictable one but in the case of most things Wino is involved with, it is exactly what you want to hear. The man has a trademark guitar style and a vocal presence that is all his own and if that was to change, all the magic would be lost.

In many ways Premonition 13 is very close to The Hidden Hand in style and sound except there is two guitars playing off each other here which gives the songs room to breathe and move more than they ever did in The Hidden Hand. But some things remain the same – the doomy riffing, blistering lead work and Wino’s half spoken vocal croon all make their presence felt in a collection of 9 very strong songs.

‘B.E.A.U.T.Y.’ starts the album sounding huge and grandiose but of course all so typical Wino! I found this opener to be a little lackluster but the following ‘Hard To Say’ is where the album really kicks into high gear. An increase in tempo, an infectious verse and chorus, an exciting solo all makes up this very memorable track. Where as the opener ‘B.E.A.U.T.Y’ is psychedelic in structure, ‘Hard To Say’ is in perfect contrast being classic riff-rocking stoner-metal, so it is a powerful combination and an exciting way to kick off the album.

The album takes another slight detour with the next tune, ‘Clay Pigeons’ at least in terms of its complexity. The guitar interplay between Wino and Karow is fairly complicated when you compare it with other songs from Wino’s past catalog of works. The song ends on a long fade out and I hate fade-outs but in this case it sets the mood for the quieter ‘Senses’ which I guess could be classed as a ‘power-ballad’ with its mellow verse to heavy chorus to mellow verse arrangement. ‘La Hechicera de la Jeringa’ begins with a prelude section before getting the track going into full-doom mode. When it does kick in, you are met with something that Wino does so well and that is the almighty sabbathian riff and this one is a doozy. It is without a doubt the albums big ‘doom’ moment and while it is generic in light of what Wino has done in his past, there is no denying the power of this riff. What follows is so different it sounds a little out-of-place in the albums running order ~ it is the boogie-rock of ‘Deranged Rock N’ Roller’ and we all can’t be doom ‘n’ gloom all the time but this track seems to be oddly light-hearted and almost too much fun for a tune coming from a Wino led band. Still it is a good track for what it is and it is very short at just a bit over 3 minutes so it is not too distracting.

What comes on next is one of the most irresistible tunes I have heard in a long time, the incredibly catchy and slightly amusing ‘Modern Man.’ Listen to the lyrics and you will hear what I mean about ‘amusing.’ It is songs like ‘Modern Man’, ‘Hard To Say’ and of course ‘La Hechicera de la Jeringa’ that will give this album some longevity. Not that the other songs are bad but it is these 3 songs that push this album into being anything but not ‘just another wino’ album. The album ends on the mainly instrumental closer ‘Peyote Road’ which makes the album run full circle as it is similar in structure to the album opener ‘B.E.A.U.T.Y.’ I think it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that some folks will here this as another typical Wino album and maybe it should be released as a Wino solo album rather than Premonition 13. Personally though I feel that Karow and Clark give the album enough individuality to be given its own title and identity, as songs like ‘Deranged Rock N Roller’ certainly give it is own unique appeal. In my mind this almost carries on where The Hidden Hand left off and that is enough reason alone to make this essential listening…….8/10

Thanks to an anonymous Greek doomster for getting this album to me ahead of its June 21st release date.

Premonition 13 @ Official Facebook page
Premonition 13 @ Official MySpace page
Premonition 13 @ Official YouTube page

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Posted May 30, 2011 by doommantia in Premonition 13

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