While in Maryland last Thursday and Friday for Stoner Hands of Doom X — the allegedly last in the 10 year tenure of the festival, which continued without me through Sunday — I managed to sneak away from the main room in Krug’s Place for a while and hit the bar area, where there was set up one lonely vendor with a ton of good shit. Most of it wasn’t necessarily SHoD-applicable, but had I needed to purchase a bootleg copy of Power Metal or Projects in the Jungle by Pantera, I could have done so easily on my way to the bathroom.
Power Metal is hilarious, by the way, if you’ve never heard it.
Uncharacteristically, I only grabbed two CDs from his several laid out boxes thereof. The first was Croatan‘s Curse of the Red Queen and the second was Sonic Witchcraft, by Soulpreacher. Both were maybe five bucks, about the price I was paying for a Leinenkugel at the bar, and though the former features such good time hits as “Gravity 1, Sisyphus 0″ and “Rebel from the Waist Down,” it was the Soulpreacher record that stuck out as more of a surprise.
Maybe that’s because I knew nothing about the band and only bought the disc because, like the Croatan, it was released on Man’s Ruin, but either way, when I popped it in my car player to listen, the out and out misery of the sludge emanating from the speakers was unbelievable. I was surprised to learn in the decade since Sonic Witchcraft‘s release (and with a new lineup) the band has adopted a more European doom style, influenced by Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, but there’s no taking away from the wholly American tinge to 10-minute opener “Blues for a Blackened World” or the Southern death-boogie of “Empty and Hollow.” They’re from North Carolina, whether they like it or not.
They debuted their new sound and two new guitarists replacing Mike Avery with 2004′s Lost Words demo but eeked out another EP, When the Black Sunn Rises… the Holy Men Burn (Game Two Records) with the original lineup in 2000 and a demo in 2002 before Avery left for law school (“Your honor, I’d like this Eyehategod riff to be read into evidence”). They’ve allegedly got a new album called All the Drugs are Failing, but damned if it’s for sale on their MySpace or website. There’s a couple tracks from it on the MySpace anyway and it’s nowhere near as skin-curdling as their earlier work, so maybe it’s for the best. In the meantime, I’ve got Sonic Witchcraft drilling a hole in my eardrum and I think I’m starting to like it. Hail the fuzz of “Sunday Morning Revelation.”
Tags: Maryland, North Carolina, Record Shopping, SHoD, Sludge, Soulpreacher