There are a few – not so subtle – hints at what’s in store when you glance at the cover of Deadsmoke’s second album, Mountain Legacy. The first thing that grabs your attention is the bleak yet beautiful image that adorns the cover, then your eyes are drawn to Deadsmoke’s logo and it immediately strikes you that it’s the same style used by the mighty Down.
At this point, alarm bells began to sound! However, it only takes a few seconds to alay any fears of plagiarism, as use of the same font aside – hardly a crime in the grand scheme of things – these guys are about as far from Down’s style of doom as you can possibly get. Though doom is still where we’re at!
Deadsmoke ease you into Mountain Legacy with a short, tension building introduction before the first song proper kicks in. “Endless Cave” then sets the tone for what follows; slow, discordant, lead heavy riffs that are in no rush to go anywhere. Layer on swirling, psychedelic synth lines and effects, alongside howled vocals that sit far back in the mix and you have some top notch doom/sludge comin’ your way!
“Hiss Of The Witch” is a strong contender for best song on the album, aided by chanted, almost Gregorian-style vocals that prove to be an unexpected delight. Short intro aside, the remaining five lengthy tracks are as equally impressive, built around slow, hypnotic waves of dissonant riffing.
An album inspired by isolation and solitude, Deadsmoke have certainly succeeded in channelling those feelings into their music. This album is epic in scope, brevity and execution and yet moves at the speed of a glacier cutting through one of their beloved mountains. A thrilling dichotomy from a great band! 8/10
Deadsmoke’s Mountain Legacy was released on 29th September 2017 via Heavy Psych Records.