IF THERE was a musical sound to denote heavy, dense, flows of molten lava, slowly burning everything under its wake, then the opening riff to Weed Priest’s ‘Possessed’ would be it.
‘Possessed’ is from the Galway band’s new three-track EP Worship which has been released in both digital and CD formats.
As a metal fan, I am unashamedly and unapologetically old skool, so when I hear something that worships at the altar of Tony Iommi and the darkest riffs laid down by the Black Sabbath master I sit up and take notice.
This is not to say that Weed Priest are Sabbath clones. The quartet clearly owe the doom metal progenitors a debt, but they have plenty in the tank to illustrate they are their own men.
Part of ‘Possessed’s appeal is its seemingly unendingly repetitive riff - metal as trance music - so that when the wah-wah drenched solo arrives, it comes as a surprise and this delay only serves to increase its effectiveness.
The dense, oppressive sound, and foreboding atmosphere is equally present, if not bettered on ‘Killvlad’. The crushing riffs would not sound out of place on Slayer’s Seasons In the Abyss, although the song, stretching to more than six minutes, is even heavier than that very heavy album. The vocals too are like some kind of occult monastic chant, again emphasising how mantras, both musical and vocal, are deeply effective in metal.
However ‘Ritual’, despite containing a decent seventies style riff, and some tasteful lead licks, is perhaps the weakest song on Worship, allowing retro tendancies too much of a presence.
Overall, it is good to see quality metal coming out of Galway and Worship is an intriguing EP which metal ears would do well to immerse themselves in.
Worship can be downloaded from http://weedpriest.bandcamp.com.