Saturday 17 February 2018

Estuary Blacks - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: 16th February 2018. Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Estuary Blacks – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Moorings 04:23
2.Trawlers 10:21
3.Fat Jason 06:23
4.Hank Carmarvin 04:11
5.Caswell Brat 10:26
6.Puris Prass 11:49




So this is what happens when former members of Bomb The Sun and Tabularasa decide to form a new band. Welsh Psychedelic Stoner Rockers – Estuary Blacks – deliver the goods with their intriguing and genuinely exciting debut album. The self-titled record sees the band in highly confident and inspired form. Playing a blend of ELDER style Progressive Psych Stoner Rock but merged with the doomy heaviness of Elephant Tree. It’s a sound that’s becoming really popular within the Psychedelic Stoner Rock scene. However Estuary Blacks deserve your attention and respect on their own terms.

Opening track – Moorings – is a doom/ambient driven Post-Rock/Stoner sounding number that shows you a brief glimpse on what to expect musically on the album. It’s a strong start to the album with elements of Psychedelic Rock really pushing the song along to an exciting conclusion.

Second track – Travellers – opens with a more sombre mood as the band play a laid back reflective song. The song soon changes into a heavier and progressive doom/stoner rock song. It has quite a raw feel and the superb vocals match the angry atmosphere being played around them. This is where you start to hear the Elder/Elephant Tree comparisons for the first time but Estuary Blacks slowly start to weave their own progressive magical spell. The music is deliciously addictive and heavy with the right amount of different progressive elements that make up the epic ten minute plus run time. The last part of the song makes intelligent use of a droned out sound that feels it’s being played by a different band.

Third track – Fat Jason – sees the band start playing a “Pelican-esque” style of music before sublime vocals return the album to a more upbeat and glorious Psychedelic/Stoner Rock sound. The music is very slow at times but the heavy psychedelic guitars make this one of the standout tracks on the album.

Fourth track - Hank Carmavin – is a semi-acoustic instrumental track that has a slight “country” style vibe with the solitary guitar still offering a psychedelic vibe. It’s not the most exciting songs on the album but that’s not the point of the song. It shows the listener that Estuary Blacks can perform more delicate songs and leave the heavy riffs behind for a few minutes or so. The second half of the song veers into Post-Rock territory and actually leaves you wanting more.

The final two songs on the album Caswell Brat and Puris Pass offer twenty two minutes of heavy psychedelic sounds with the band playing some uplifting Stoner Rock music to end the album with. Caswell Brat is perhaps the more engaging of the two songs with the band showing a keen eye for experimentation and sonic melody. Puris Pass does end on an intriguing end with various UK Weather Reports being played against a subtle musical backdrop.

Estuary Black’s debut album is a highly emotional and uplifting slice of Psychedelic Stoner Rock with moments of Progressive Rock and Doom based sounds that show you there is more to Estuary Black’s music than you first experience. This album proves the Welsh Stoner Rock/Metal scene is more than capable in providing great bands for you to discover. This is an essential album to have in your record collection. It’s simple as that.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Estuary Blacks for the promo. Their debut album is available to buy digitally now. CD/Vinyl will be released later this year via Kozmik Artifactz.