Instrumental doom metal or instrumental stoner is a tough thing to sell. The genres are already known for their meandering approach to composition so it is many a nose that is upturned at the thought of an instrumental version of the styles. But the truth is, there’s actually a lot of power in the combination; something about the absence of vocals, about the centrality of the instruments, seems to create an obligation on the part of the instruments to be more dynamic and forward thinking. There are a few examples but none shone brighter than the mighty Tempel. Each day we go without a new Tempel release is a day wasted, in my books.
Thankfully, there are others who are willing to take up the standard of instrumental doom and stoner in Tempel’s absence. One such case is Mountain Caller and their upcoming Chronicle I: The Truthseeker. Initially drawing me due to its cover art, this album is chock full of riffs, fuzz, and infectious groove. It’s also true to the aforementioned art, painting a musical journey in the ways it compositions call back and complement each other. They have on track streaming for now, “Journey Through the Twilight Desert” and it does a great job of showcasing what these guys are all about.
Talk about tone, huh? I just love how everything sounds here, especially the deep, redolent bass. But the rest of it is just as good, especially in the latter half of the track. We get treated to this calmer middle passage, where the bass blends with light-footed drums to create the mystical feeling first evoked by the track’s name. But then, what’s this? Blast-beats?! I told you these guys are of the same vein as Tempel, who had flourishes of extreme metal all over the sound. This is the case here, the more aggressive sections beautifully blending with the drawn out chords, fuzzy tones, and stoned vibe to create something really unique.
And there’s plenty more of this on the album; in fact, I think the album only gets stronger as it goes along, sound building on sound to create a mighty edifice of stoner/doom goodness. It releases on November 6th and you can pre-order it from the band’s Bandcamp linked above. Good stuff, folks, good stuff!