Thursday 28 March 2019

HEMPTRESS - Alchemy (Album Review)

Release date: March 2nd 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Alchemy – Tracklisting

1.I Hear You Howlin 06:10
2.Moonlight Gunnin 06:13
3.Alabaster 04:15
4.When The Sun Goes Down 04:38
5.Mind Corruptor 07:46
6.Electric Fire 04:40
7.Maniac 06:14
8.Alchemy 11:38


Jesse : Vox/Guitar/Drums
Jordan : Bass
Jordan : Guitar


Alchemy is the debut album from Canadian Sludge/Stoner Rockers HEMPTRESS who incorporate Blues Rock and Doom Metal into their music. The album has a very distinctive sound with the band playing a direct style of Sludge/Stoner Rock. HEMPTRESS are very hard to pin down to one particular genre as they move from different sound to the next. Though the album is pure ROCK & ROLL EXCESS and is the better for it.

Opening song – I Hear You Howlin – shows you how HEMPTRESS play around with their sound as they offer a Sludgy and Doom based atmospheric style of music. The song has an almost vintage feel to that sees the band move towards the realm of Classic Rock but still maintaining a fresh modern sound as well. The vocals take some getting used to but Jesse’s vocals soon shine through.

Second song – Moonlight Gunnin – shows the bands love for all things Psychedelic merged with a heavy Blues Rock vibe. The song does take time to fully get going but it’s always an engaging and vibrant affair. HEMPTRESS have over 6 minutes to play with on this song and they build up to a thunderous and exciting finish. Fans of CLUTCH will no doubt enjoy HEMPTRESS style of music.

Third song – Alabaster – is more laid-back compared to the opening two songs. However the band still play some heavy stylish sounds. This song sees HEMPTRESS remain within the Classic Style of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Jesse’s vocals are inspired by 1980’s Heavy Metal Excess and he runs away with that style. The vocals maybe brief but it what sells the song as one of the standout moments on the album.

HEMPTRESS carry on that style of Sludge Rock. Stoner Rock, Doom Metal and Classic Hard Rock for the remainder of the album. Songs such as Mind Corrupter, Maniac and the almost 12 minute final song – Alchemy set the scene for an excellent sounding album.

It’s good to see HEMPTRESS paying respects to their musical influences on this album whilst managing to create their own superb sound. I can see why the band are starting to receive some great praise from the Stoner Rock/Metal community with people such as Steve Woodier (Deathrattle Podcast), Steve Rodger (BandCamp Doom/Stoner Metal Expert) and Bucky Brown (Ripple Effect) singing this bands praises most recently. These guys know what they’re talking about. As they’re some of the most prominent BandCamp supporters within the community and they know a thing or two about good music.

So take their advice and listen to this epic album. As HEMPTRESS have delivered the goods with this album. You’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys in the near future.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe