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Light's Bane - EP

Trees

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Album Review

As scenes subdivide beyond recognition, calling Trees' debut release metal is both perfectly accurate and also limited. Anybody who loved Gravity Records at its height in the mid-'90s will probably find as much to love here as do fans of sludge monsters and whatever the heck "stoner rock" is meant to signify now, not to mention hordes of classic indie level metal from the '80s and beyond — the larger point being that Trees are plenty loud, given to anguished screams, and think nothing of putting the figure of a beautiful woman that's mostly a rotten skeleton on their album cover. Lights Bane consists of two long tracks clocking in at around a quarter of an hour each, and both move with the slow, deliberate pace that early Black Sabbath blue printed, but L. Smith's distanced, heavily echoed explosive screeches would have disturbed even young Ozzy. Both "Nothing" and "Black" feel likes two parts of a larger whole — the division between the two is so quick that it's easy to blink and miss it — but they do have their differences, with the latter having a high point in the sudden, shuddering grind and drum roll about seven minutes in while Smith's voice turns into a barely heard, guttural rasp and gurgle. It's a good start at the least, but there's still some way to go before Trees fully find their own sound.

Light's Bane - EP, Trees
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