Pinewalker Premiere “Sentinel”; Migration out Sept. 6

PINEWALKER Photo by Carly Page

Thrice-guitarred Salt Lake City riff metal five-piece Pinewalker will issue their debut full-length, Migration, on Sept. 6. It is an album that makes its mission plain from the moment opener “Sentinel” reworks the signature riff of Sleep‘s “Dragonaut” and later taps into Goatsnake during its apex, and the brazen manner in which it goes about bringing together metallic aggression with stoner and doom influences — even a bit of post-metal ambience at the start of sprawling nine-minute album centerpiece “Maelstrom” — only underlines that as their ultimate stylistic aim. Formed in 2014 under the moniker Yeti and with a 2016 EP, Wasteland, to their credit under that name, Pinewalker burl their way through seven tracks and 43 minutes on Migration, alternating between a song like “Bone Collector,” which draws a line between extreme metal thrust — something “Burning Earth” soon brings even more forward — and Sabbathian shuffle in a kind of Entombed-via-Rocky-Mountains revamp, and longer form pieces like “Maelstrom,” the subsequent instrumental roller “Space Witch” and closer “The Thaw,” the latter two of which top eight minutes as the record moves through its second half.

The purposeful-seeming impression there is that the further you go, the more there is to find. Pinewalker — guitarist/vocalists Tarran MeadJason Kennington and Sam Roe, bassist Ethan Jentzch and drummer Nate Perkins — insert “Self vs. Self” PINEWALKER migrationbetween the last two longer cuts as the penultimate track to return to some of the more grounded metal fare of “Bone Collector,” finding room for some Maiden-style guitar histrionics along the way, but the prevailing spirit of Migration is in the overarching blend that unites the broader and more directly-punishing material. Melody is engaged most of all in “The Thaw,” the central riff of which seems to reinvent Neurosis‘ “Given to the Rising” before offsetting it with post-rocking airiness in the verse, but the death-doom stomp that emerges, soaring leads that take hold, and willfully over-the-top crescendo that follow are hardly the work of a band simply looking to ape their influences. Rather, the relief that “The Thaw” seems to find in relation to the rest of the record is all the more palpable for the individualized stamp they put on it.

And that that is the final impression Migration gives — aided in no small part by the production of Andy Patterson (SubRosaDØNE, many more) — speaks to the successful realization of the aesthetic meld that’s at the core of the record. They play heavy, they play metal, and sure enough, it works. And whether they’re bludgeoning their way through “Burning Earth” or hinting at a more progressive future in the tense buildup in the early going of “Maelstrom,” the simple fact that they’re able to execute their ideas with such clearheaded certainty is emblematic of the achievement they’re making as they emerge from their mountainous bailiwick. They run the risk over the longer term of falling into a place between — too aggro for the rockers, but more rock than the headbangers can fully embrace — but they have several advantages on their side in things like the potential their songwriting shows here and their relative youth, and as positioned as they seem to be for future growth, Pinewalker leave one with a resounding sense of hope for what might come as well as a black eye from what has already manifested in these tracks. Go on tour, gentlemen. Go on tour and don’t look back.

They’ll play the release show for Migration on Sept. 13 at Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, and I’m happy today to host the track premiere of “Sentinel” below for your streaming pleasure. Album preorders are up on Bandcamp.

Please enjoy:

Pinewalker on “Sentinel”:

Sentinel was a tricky beast for us at first. We had a lot of ideas that we wanted to play around with and it took a lot of our attention during the writing process, but we are super happy with how it turned out. Thematically, this is the starting point of the record. This is where we are introduced to the character that we follow through the rest of the music. To us, the song tries to capture the fear of the unknown with a power that emanates anger. We like old monster movies a lot, and thought about their cinematography and design while coming up with this song as kind of our main theme for our monster.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based quintet PINEWALKER is preparing to release their sprawling debut album, Migration. Completed for release in early September, the album boasts a cathartic concept, an homage to loved ones lost to cancer, delivered through a crushing display of thundering, groove-heavy doom/sludge metal.

The five members of PINEWALKER all met and began playing together in high school and have grown tighter as a group ever since. Now in their fifth year since inception, the band has solidified and honed their own approach to performing the music they love.

With forty-four minutes of music spanning seven expansive tracks, Migration was recorded, mixed and mastered by Andy Patterson at his The Boars Nest in Salt Lake City (Subrosa, Gaza, Theories), and completed with artwork by Charles Bogus and design by Ashley Fairbourne.

PINEWALKER will self-release Migration on digital formats on September 6th with a CD version to follow.

PINEWALKER Live:
9/13/2019 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT *Migration release show

PINEWALKER:
Nate Perkins – drums
Tarran Mead – guitar/vocals
Jason Kennington – guitar/vocals
Sam Roe – lead guitar/vocals
Ethan Jentzsch – bass

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Pinewalker on Instagram

Pinewalker on Bandcamp

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One Response to “Pinewalker Premiere “Sentinel”; Migration out Sept. 6”

  1. […] look back.” Stream PINEWALKER’s “Sentinel” only at The Obelisk RIGHT HERE. PINEWALKER will self-release Migration on digital formats on September 6th with a CD version […]

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