Rapidfire Review: Karma To Burn/Ghost Horizon

West Virginia’s Karma to Burn may have been lurking in the hazy underground of stoner rock in several different forms since the 90s, but they’ve never seemed to make the same impact on listeners than some of the other projects they’ve been associated with (most notably Kyuss). Though their tenacious aggression and uncompromising instrumental sound may serve as a decent background to a beer-soaked evening with some good friends, the band’s latest EP Mountain Czar simply doesn’t take enough risks to really stand out from the now overcrowded world of sludgy hard rock Joining it is Ghost Horizon. This isn’t a type of music that’s easily contained in such bite-sized pieces; it becomes all too easy to lose the emotional weight and feeling of a journey that’s crucial to this genre’s sound. Groups like Wolves In The Throne Room and Agalloch do not typically write songs which lie under the 5-minute mark (as all three of the songs here do). Although it’s certainly not impossible or unthinkable that such a short EP could contain all of the qualities necessary to make this genre work, Astral Possession just… doesn’t. Put bluntly, these songs just are not fully fleshed out enough to have any sort of decent effect on the listener.