Sunday 20 February 2022

Smoke - Groupthink (Album Review)

Release Date: February 11th 2022. Record Label: Self Released.  Format: DD

Groupthink - Tracklisting

1.Groupthink 06:07

2.Temple 05:32

3.One Eyed King 18:44

4.Davidian 06:03

5.The Son of Man 06:58

6.Supplication of Flame 06:46

7.TELAH 08:04


Dalton - Guitar/Vocals

Ben - Guitar

Alex - Drums

Braxton - Bass


Groupthink is the debut album from Southern Rock/Fuzz/Doom Metallers Smoke who are helped along by Sabbathian heavy distorted elements and Psychedelic Stoner Metal for a dark and eerie style of music. The album runs for almost an hour in length with Smoke displaying their Doom Metal credentials down to a fine art with some epic slices of Prog Rock along the way but more about that later.

The album opens up with the stunning title track with Smoke displaying a cool slow paced atmosphere with the multiple levels of distorted noises and sounds that range from classic Doom Metal to seedy Stoner Metal with the Fuzz/Southern Rock influence sandwiched in between for a meatier style of music. The instrumental music does sound and feel quite raw but it allows Smoke to dictate their own style of music for a song that holds your attention superbly well. There is an aggressive tone and seediness to Dalton’s vocals that are also quite relaxing when the quieter moments appear. 

Second song Temple starts with a Post-Doom/Post-Stoner groove with laid-back vocals setting the scene but listen to the lyrics and you can hear that this song has a dark element running within and Smoke soon bust out into “AMPLIFIER WORSHIP” and “LOW & SLOW” theatrics. The music becomes more powerful and threatening with the Psychedelic vibe moving the heaviness of the album up a notch in the volume stakes. Smoke shows a seedier FUZZIER outlook on this song that allows this song to be one of the standout tracks on the album.

The standout track on this album has to be the next song One Eyed King that lasts a mouthwatering eighteen minutes in length. With Smoke aiming for a bombastic and theatrical approach where they cover a lot of ground in the world of Southern Rock, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal. This is where Smoke lets their creativity run wild. You can’t deny the impressive musical display on here. The song is wickedly deceptive as well with Smoke going in many different directions you wouldn’t expect. Flashes of different styles of music allows Smoke to build up and play the best grooves and guitar solos on the album. 

Smoke still has around thirty minutes to prove their creative worth here on the remaining four songs and they just do that especially on songs such as Davidian, The Son Of Man and TELAH. The music doesn’t change that drastically from the first half of the album but there’s more in the way of Prog Rock theatrics but still remaining close to the sounds of the earlier songs. Heavy distorted grooves and slow-paced moments are used wisely for a record that’s not afraid to take creative risks when the time calls for it.

The production is excellent throughout with the album having the right style of modern finesse and a fantastic classic vintage sound. Groupthink is a wonderfully action-packed album and if you dig your Doom/Stoner Metal with a Southern based feel with hints of Fuzz Rock and Psych Rock but with nods to bands such as Uncle Acid, SLEEP and Black Sabbath then you’re going to love this like I did.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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