zondag 10 mei 2020

Dryland - Dances With Waves

Dryland - Dances With Waves
Self released - April 2020
Stoner, Doom, Hardcore
Rated: ****

The Pacific Northwest has yet another heavy treasure in Washington's Dryland, whose sophomore effort Dances With Waves is a rip-roaring trek through fantastic tales in a grand mix stoner, doom, and hardcore. The impressive variety of sounds at play is made immediately apparent on first track "No Celestial Hope", whose fiery opening lead quickly shifts to a steady stomping chug as the vocals' raw punk energy kicks in. The hardcore styled singing is clear and confident, making for a commanding narration of Dryland's magical sagas with more than an edge of danger. The vocals are all the more fitting as the midtempo chugging accelerates to vibrant Sword-esque riffs, emphasized by full fisted drums dealing out blinding fills. Second track "Exalted Mystics" initially reins it in with a dark and flowing bassy groove, keeping you on your toes before pushing you off the cliff with an abrupt and neck-breaking riff that's almost sludge in its intensity. A final noise assault over wild drums brings the track to a frantic and crushing end, and leads into the final two epics of the EP. Dryland save the best for last, firing off twin guitar salvos between the bleak, low and slow tale of war in "The Sound A Sword Adores". The impressive storytelling is then upped even more on closer "Between The Testaments", seething with energy in its slowed intro of keening guitars and primal drums. The bottomless low-end gut punch makes good on the threat, alongside anthemic cries of love and doom. Dryland then gallops off with high energy riffs of pure rock fury, bringing Dances With Waves to a properly heroic end. In Dryland's ambitious take on stoner rock and heavy metal, harrowing emotion combines with instrumental twists and turns to result in one of the year's most exciting and diverse releases yet.

(Written by Shasta Beast)

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