Samothrace - Reverence To Stone
Melodic Sludge, Doom
2 songs (34:48)
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Goat

Not named after a former Emperor member's sporting event, but instead the name of a small Greek island containing the ancient Sanctuary of the Great Gods, Samothrace are doom for doom's sake. Melodic sludge build-ups are mixed with more traditional doom riffage to form an epic whole, songs slow and lengthy, taking their time to grow on the listener but keeping their ears enthralled each step of the way. Just two songs are present on this, the band's second album, yet they are more than enough, being over fourteen and twenty minutes in length respectively.

Opener When We Emerged is the shorter of the two, building slowly and majestically before erupting into heaviness around the four-minute mark, a roaring vocalist joining the until then unaccompanied instrumentalists. He knows his place, however, and keeps it short and in the background, allowing the guitars to work their magic. Groove is joined by a melodic guitar line, flying over the top of the sludgy morass and simultaneously rocking out and adding atmosphere - a trick so good that the fourteen minutes fly by, and the end of the song comes as something of a shock as the feedback drains away...

The following A Horse Of Our Own kicks off with a crunch, a squalling guitar lead atop deep, almost droning guitar beneath. Like the previous track, this trick works wonderfully, although it's heavier and somehow more desperate here, the growls coming in sooner. Yet it slows to almost ambience by the four-minute mark, a single strummed guitar intermittently joined by crashing distant percussion and droning guitar melodies, wonderfully peaceful and calming after the undeniable metal of the previous track. After another noisy section the track returns to this quieter, musing side of the band, almost folky if not for the threatening feedback as guitar riffs lurk in the background, ready to ride in and devastate at any time. Instead, they choose feedback and ambience, creating a dangerous vibe as the track devolves into noise and feedback , keeping a structure and holding control as it does. Despite its length, again, the time flies by, holding your interest right up to the final seconds. And really, there's little more to say! Fans of doom's lengthier, sludgier side will find much to love here.

Killing Songs :
Both, but especially A Horse Of Our Own
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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