Here’s a trio bound to break any stereotypes you might have about Canadians being extra polite, friendly and civilized people. Just look at their songs and thematic; drug abuse, sex, horror, murder, alcohol and general flip offs to the law. And jump on to their Facebook page, tsch, tsch, tsch… what a lot of drunkards, stoners and gunslingers… I LOVE THESE GUYS!
As you might have understood by now (if you weren’t familiar with DOPETHRONE already), DOPETHRONE is a lovely band that you should generally keep your children away from. Having the balls to choose the title of –perhaps- the most famous stoner album of all times, these dudes knew that they had to build a great sound for themselves in order to not just be shrugged off as a “blatant copy” or what other bullshit inhibition their name might create in the listener’s mind. And there they are now, only six years after their debut, having lifted themselves –at least in my mind- to the highest place amongst the stoner/sludge acts you can find out there.
After the definitive turn in their sound with 2011’s disgustingly beautiful “Dark Foil” (to this day their best work for me), the Canadians forced a great deal of heads to turn their way and gaze in amazement the abysmally heavy and morally depraved child they’d given birth to, and to make sure they got our attention, one year later they released the also extravagantly booming “III”, showing that they’ve found their sound and they are sticking to it because it fuckin’ rules!
So, three years later, what has changed? Absolutely nothing and I adore them for that! They are still signed to the underground treasury called Totem Cat Records and there hasn’t been the slightest step of course in their majestically rotten sound. It pretty much boils down to “Same sound, new riffs” for those monsters. And starting off with dynamites like “Sludgekicker” and “Vagabong”, you know they have searched deep in to their pouch of devilry infested and smoke filled riffs.
Then comes their biggest hit of a song (though I doubt you’ll ever hear it on the radio) “Scum Fuck Blues”, a track as unstable and explosive as nitroglycerine and as infuriated as a dead drunk T-Rex, portraying perfectly their music philosophy with that explosively groovy and malicious riff and the demotivationally inspirational lyrics “SMOKE! DRINK! DIE!”. If that track does not make you want to drink a bottle of Jack in a single sip, beat people up for no reason and light shit on fire, then you’re probably dead on the inside.
It also carries the essential message of “Hochelaga” (when pasted together with other lyrics found inside), which for me at least is “Fuck everything, fuck every social norm, I know my delinquent habits are killing me but at least I’m free and enjoying the hell out of this”. Besides making you feel good about indulging in total debauchery, this filthy swamp of riffs carries the other essential half of “Dopethrone”, which is making every track sounding like a mini horror movie. The recordings used in many tracks which are taken by b-movies and cult horror flicks (I also think a Charles Manson speech is included) and they carry on the successful tradition of creating a dark as hell atmosphere as it was recorded in masterpieces like “Zombie Powder” or “Dark Foil”.
Their “BUZZOVEN meets Witchcult Today with a MOTORHEAD attitude” sound is further explored in songs like “Riff Dealer” (awesome title) and the hidden gem “Dry Hitter” that manage to keep the chaotic party go on at a point where “III” would falter just a bit, stumbling around in its haze. Right here it’s important to note two things. First thing first, there is no “I” in team and there is also no “I” in DOPETHRONE. What I mean is that the teamwork is top notch in here, everyone is a star in their own way and nobody steals each other’s thunder, thus resulting to making this amazingly compact thing bludgeoning our ears feel like a single, tight and organic entity.
Vincent Houde is the filthiest voice in the extreme metal industry and I will never forget his monumental performance in “Zombi Powder” which made me believe a zombie had invaded the studio and taken over the microphone. In here he keeps on sounding like a sadistic fiend of an 80’s slasher flick, a stoned zombie crawling out of the grave to spread his sinful sickness to the world, evil and enjoying it. That gives the extra twist that makes DOPETHRONE unique (no comments will be made on his titanic guitar settings, just listen to this goddamn thing). Carl Borman is a mean machine behind the drum kit, just pounding the shit out of them like there’s no tomorrow, using his cymbals perfectly and adding a serious depth and feeling of epicness to the sound. Vyk on the bass lays down the fuzzy foundation whereupon demons, killers, dopeheads and alcoholics will swirl around for an enormous feast.
To wrap this up, DOPETHRONE are the best in doing what they do; meaning balancing the murk, the misery and foul heartedness of sludge metal with the groovy and “let’s party” essence of stoner metal. They know exactly which people they are addressing and they do what they can to keep them happy with the second best album of their career. Go grab yourself a copy and support these magicians of filth.
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