Karma To Burn released their fifth full-length album, as the title reveals and their second album after their reunion. I have to say that I was rather surprised, because it wasn’t so long time from their last release “Appalachian Incantation”. Maybe the band had too much material from their period of inactivity. So, “V” is now reality, and the band’s fan should be very satisfied by this album. It is actually a very solid album for the Stoner Metal genre nowadays and the production is equally good. Karma To Burn seem to never forget the great music they were playing in the late ’90s.
As the past albums, “V” also has many Kyuss elements and this is obvious. The Rednecks from West Virginia keep largely their instrumental character but also add the vocals of their new member Daniel Davies in a couple of songs. Their music compositions are as we have been used to, with one difference: now we have fifty one ways to be in Sky Valley and back.
First of all we have two categories of songs, in my opinion. Those who have a Kyuss attitude and those who have the old-school Doom Metal elements of Black Sabbath’s music. In some of the instrumental songs the Kyuss points are clear. “Forty Seven” is a typical Stoner Metal/Rock track and its music is near the music of “Welcome to Sky Valley”. It’s very atmospheric with the characteristic stoner dizziness, too. “Forty Eight” follows the same way, but it’s more psychedelic it has more heavy stoner riffs and the tempo is a bit faster. Also it has very flexible drums and it boosts another positive point to the song. Generally, “V” is a consistent album and follows the same form of music. The same happens in “Forty Nine” too, but here the guitar riff compositions are so complex that make it a great Stoner Rock song. My favorite of the instrumental tracks is “Fifty One”. The heavy riffing, the dynamic drums and the carving bass are combined and the result is as hot as the desert’s sand. In these songs the comparison with Kyuss can not be avoided. Besides, let us not forget the participation of John Garcia in “Appalachian Incantation”.
Some other songs, though, have some points in their sound of a heavy and primordial Doom Metal. For that reason, couldn’t be avoided a Black Sabbath cover. “Never Say Die” is actually a true cover song and Karma To Burn attached it properly. This is clear in the instrumental “Fifty”. Heavy flowing riffs and smashing drums give something of the Sabbath’s Doom Metal music. And “The Cynics” which is my favorite track of the album has the same sound too. Also, Daniel Davies does very good vocals here. Finally “Jimmy D” is exactly the definition of the Stoner Metal. A heavy storm begins and it has very catchy riffs that with the compilation of the vocals make this song a masterpiece. Rob Oswald proves once again that he is a capable drummer. I think that Karma To Burn should write more songs with vocals like “Jimmy D”
In conclusion, “V” is a dynamic Stoner Metal album as it should be in the second decade of the 00’s. Karma To Burn came back with two super albums and “V” stands combatant for the band’s reputation. The listener is dragged to the Stoner’s fusion and Karma To Burn do it without any difficulties at all. Listening the album three things are certain: The Devil smokes weed, The Devil listens to Karma To Burn and the Devil is a damn Redneck.