Has there ever been a more aptly named compilation that A Thousand Arms‘s Erosion? Probably named, as this compilation is filled with tons of geographically diverse stoner, doom, and everything in between. You have your feedback based meditations on the farthest reaches of space/the psyche, the heavier thundering of crashing waves on cliffs and the decidedly dipped in the good leaf. Most of all though, A Thousand Arms continues its efforts to bring to the light of day more obscure and less optimally located bands, shinning a light on some names you’re bound to find surprising and, hopefully, pleasing. As the compilation, which is divided into two sides, features tons of music, we’ve taken the liberty of being your guides. Let’s get started!
Side A begins with the decidedly energetic triple attack from Tombstones, Year of the Cobra and Droids Attack. The latter is a science fiction epic told through the medium of progressive stoner rock, featuring many a unison and weedly guitars to ease your aching heart. Right after that though comes one of the biggest highlights of the entire release; Cambrian Explosion inhabit the same far out places as Samsara Blues Experiment, dealing in emotional, drenched and slow moving stoner steeped in mystic sensibilities and the slightest hints of space. Side A‘s second sucker punch is the aptly named Thorr-Axe and their blastbeat colored “Battles of 5 Armies”. This track, aptly referencing Tolkien, is the closest on the release to feature black metal influences, on the aforementioned drums but also on the screech-y vocals and the epic guitar lines, recalling the best of folk black metal.
Side B opens strong with the close to ten minute track “Endless Flight” from Egypt. Blending the trappings of Black Sabbath (you know I was going to mention them at some point, don’t roll your eyes at me) with the more expressive solos of Led Zeppelin, Egypt wrap up their offering with varied vocals, ranging from the clean and high to the low and guttural. These ideas are spun into different trajectories by Dali’s Llama (god, the names on this compilation are so on point) and their “Dying in the Sun”, guitars thicker and solos even longer. The overall result is a heady throwback which channels Wishbone Ash as much as it does Clutch. The rest of Side B resides along these tensions, blending the rock, metal, and stoner together.
Put together, these two sides of the same release represent a decidedly strong effort from A Thousand Arms, further solidifying them as a name to watch for smaller, and excellent, ensembles. The compilation itself continues much more than what we could cover here in a past; I urge you to click through to their Bandcamp and listen for yourself, followed by a quick and generous purchase. Don’t forget – supporting music starts with you.