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4.5 out of 5 skulls
November 12, 2009 |

Shrinebuilder Shrinebuilder

When word spread about the formation of Shrinbuilder earlier this year, I’m pretty sure every fan of doom and metal in general faded into instant, drooling comas, dreaming of the possibilities. With a pedigree that features the godfathers of doom — Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Neurosis, Sleep, Om and Melvins — these four dudes are more than a supergroup. They are the doom metal band to end all doom metal bands.

So, now that my metaphorical reach around is complete, how does the combination of Wino, Al Cisneros, Dal Crover and Scott Kelly sound? In a word or two — deep, powerful and soaring. Heavy riffs mix with psychedelic moods, deep atmosphere and flowing groove for a trip deep into the heart of the band. As separate entities, each member of the band put aside their egos to meld their own distinct sounds into one being — a spiritual collective that ebbs and flows through beefy guitars, soulful leads and appropriately delivered vocals. When all is said and done, Shrinebuilder‘s debut is nothing short of amazing.

Solar Benediction
“Solar Benediction” opens up the four track (there are five songs on the retail version) with Wino’s distinctive vocal delivery and thundering drums. This is an epic track that reaches deep into the band’s soul one minute with thundering rhythms and then soars triumphantly to the heavens with lively leads. The combination of Wino and Scott Kelly on this song make for a great dynamic. Vocally, Kelly has the largest role on the album, appearing in all four tracks on this promotional disc. The light reprieve around the 4:50 mark is dramatic and soulful as the band builds back up to a solid slab of doomy groove over the next two plus minutes.

Pyramid Of The Moon
Massive guitars full of texture and power get “Pyramid of the Moon” rolling like an oncoming storm. The drumming is steady and methodical as the giant riffs dominate the first 30 seconds or so. The song begins to lull the listener into a daze with light guitars and softer vocal delivery from Kelly. The first four minutes or so of this song is a brooding, moody beast that finally wakes from it’s early slumber with a slick leads around 4:35. Al Cisneros brings in his trippy vocal stylings around 5:30 to great effect. Awesome song.

Blind For All To See
“Blind For All To See” starts out with a mellow bit of bass that’s got a nice groove. This is another dark song that weaves amongst the shadows of whatever room you may have just ingested some mushrooms in. It’s a relatively inactive track perfectly suited for enjoying said ‘shrooms. There are plenty of psychedelic guitar noise throughout the song that’ll stimulate just the right nerves.

The Architect
Damn, Wino can shred some guitar. “The Architect” contains his biggest foot print as he also contributes vocals to the song. The groove on this one is infectious as Kelly adds to the vocals during the chorus. The highlight for the song for me is the sick lead at about the 3:40 mark. I love the sludgy, rock fueled feel to this one. It’s open yet suffocatingly thick. Another stellar track from these dudes.

Science Of Anger
The promotional disc that I received from Neurot Records did not have this song, but from what I understand it’s a pretty sweet jam with all four players contributing vocals.

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