Saturday 14 September 2019

Saint Karloff - Interstellar Voodoo (Album Review)

Release date: October 04th 2019. Label: Vinyl (Majestic Mountain Records), CD (Ozium Records), Tape (Stoner Witch Records). Format: CD/DD/Vinyl/Cassette Tape

Interstellar Voodoo – Tracklisting
Interstellar Voodoo

Mads Melvold: Guitar / Vocals
Ole Sletner: Bass
Adam Suleiman: Drums


Greetings All,

Norway’s Saint Karloff stormed onto the scene with one of 2018’s best records. All Heed the Black God was a thunderous stoned out doom psych marvel. These prolific fellows followed that was a dazzling split ep with the always impressive Devils Witches. Now, hot on the heels of that release the band drops their stunning sophomore lp. The epic Interstellar Voodoo is an impressive one track/40+ minute doom/fuzz opus. A downright fuzzed out, riff laden rock opera that shares a kindred spirit with another single track stoner rock masterpiece, Sleep’s Dopesmoker. I think it virtually impossible to not at least somewhat compare the two records. Sure, it’s heavy ass stoner rock, so there are some obvious similarities. However, Saint Karloff have forged their own patch and put their own unique stamp on this take.

To be honest, there is some difficulty in reviewing a one track album. For obvious reasons the vinyl and cassette are going to be broken into parts 1 and 2 with each part clocking in around 20 minutes, give or take. However, I would say the record plays out in what I would call movements. I’m no music major, but for the sake of my explanation, that is how I am going to roll with it.

The first movement opens with thunderous riffage that kicks into a tight, sweet groove that runs until around the six and half minute mark before some high octane ZZ Top inspired rocking kicks for a couple of minutes and then changes gears into a heavy stomp of a movement that rocks rather righteously before phasing out and slowing down around the 12 minute mark. Some slight guitar noodling leads into a bassline that launches the band into the next explosive, groove heavy movement. It is a bass driven number reminiscent of Graveyard or Witchcraft with a catchy hook and a rocking outro that by all accounts closes out the first part of the record around the 20 minute mark.

The band brings the heavy in the second half. A massive riff, monstrous bassline, and louder than god drums open the next movement that breaks down into guitar solos and crashing cymbals before giving way to the heavy ass homage to some “Sweet Young Maiden” that is a movement that is chock full of riffage and bass that doesn’t relent. The band then moves into a jazz inflected low end groove around the 26 minute mark that brings in some righteous sounding hammond organ work over the next few minutes before morphing into the dark the dark and monstrous final movement with a familiar riff/groove and some heavy strained vocals before coming to a close with some phased out, drum filled grooviness. Interstellar Voodoo does not relent, but in the best way possible.

Saint Karloff aren’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, but the are blazing their own path and setting the bar extremely high in execution and creativity. The trio are becoming the new masters of fuzzed out riffs, just as fuzz basslines, monstrous drums and lo fi vocals. If you dig stoner rock, doom, psych, blues and the almighty riff and you somehow are not yet familiar with Saint Karloff, then you need to get your head in the game. Seriously. Interstellar Voodoo is some serious shit and a definite album of the year contender. You have no choice, dig on this!

- Todd S - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. 

Interstellar Voodoo will be available to buy from October 04th 2019 via the following labels and formats - Vinyl (Majestic Mountain Records), CD (Ozium Records), Tape (Stoner Witch Records)


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