III - Tracklisting
Desert Of Madness
The Secret Of Water
The Green King Rises
Escape From Earth
To Suns Beyond
III is the new album from Swedish Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers 10,000 Years and is the final chapter of the "Albatross" trilogy they originally started with on their debut EP back in 2020. The band take their blend of High On Fire and Mastodon style grooves to the next level of HEAVINESS but with the masterclass of Cosmic and Psych Metal that the Swedish Metal Underground scene is known for.
With this "WEEDIAN" and "Star Trek" inspired story, The lyrics and vocals outline quite an interesting story that fits into the whole narrative that was heard on their debut release and still sounds quite original in places. The album does float between High On Fire brutal sounds and Mastodon progressive based world building throughout the album; this still very much feels like a 10,000 Years album.
Opening song Cult Axe is an aggressively paced track with the band laying down the groundwork for the rest of the album to follow. Fast paced grooves are the main course of action here with a modern Spaced Out sound that pushes their sounds further into heavier areas of Sludge/Stoner Metal that we haven't heard from 10,000 Years before.
Second song Megafauna is another spaced out song with areas of Distorted Rock/Metal being added for a slight claustrophobic feeling. This is another fast paced song with the band playing multiple different styles of Sludge/Stoner Metal with the whole song having a "Hardcore Punk" flow to it but it's the Psych and Cosmic elements that keeps everything on the right side of WEEDIAN metal. Expect a flurry of aggressive guitar jams towards the end of the song.
Third song Desert Of Madness goes off-track for one of this standout tracks on the album. As 10,000 Years play a style of Post-Rock or Post-Stoner riffs on this song. The song can be quite peaceful at times even with this being quite heavy. When the band let loose with the "Ambient '' elements of the album then this becomes one of the most exciting parts of the album that brings an uplifting "Post-Metal" flow. Though, there are still fantastic Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves being played throughout.
Fourth Song The Secret Of Water opens with a slow-paced Ambient/Post-Rock score with eerie sounds and solitary guitars. This gives a sense of loneliness and can be emotionally cold in places. The song is purely an instrumental song but shows a different side to 10,000 Years that I hope they explore further on future releases. As this is in stark contrast to what the band are known for.
The second half of the album keeps with the punishing Sludge/Stoner Metal distorted grooves but with the Cosmic or Psych elements having more focus. The vocals are just as punishing on songs such as: The Green King Rises, Escape From Earth and To Suns Beyond. These songs perhaps best show how 10,000 Years have matured with age since their debut release. The band play their own definitive sound on the later stages of the album with the music becoming brilliantly original and inventive when they merge different sounds together with unexpected levels of Psychedelic based aggression.
The album is expertly produced and sounds first rate from start to finish.
III maybe the final chapter for the "Albatross" trilogy. However, this album has allowed the band to hone their musical and creative craft for the better. This is the best release yet from 10,000 Years and this has allowed them to become one of the best upcoming bands from the Swedish Cosmic Underground scene.
I can't wait to see what the guys will release in future. However, until then, be prepared for one of the best albums of the year.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to various folks who sent me a promo to review.
III will be available to buy on the formats and record labels below from June 24th 2022.