Glowsun – Eternal Season

Glowsun
Eternal Season
Released September 28th, 2012
Stoner Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Stoner Metal has a tendency to be an American and British phenomenon, so as it was I found myself surprised to learn that “Glowsun” are from France, a country not particularly known for its output within the Stoner/Doom spectrum of the Metal genre. If you hear the name “Glowsun” and think of bizarre, psychedelic atmospheres, you’d be right – that’s exactly what’s going on here. The album begins with “Death’s Face” featuring light and echoey melodies, then towards the end of the album’s first song, the guitars really start to kick in and things get a little heavier. It’s a creepy psychedelic song that builds to a crushing crescendo. Much of the rest of this album follows this formula of blending the soft with the heavy into a strange brew that is crushingly heavy and also strangely calming and meditative. The album chugs along at a medium pace for much of its duration and achieves that great paradox of Stoner Metal that is to sound huge and intense whilst also relaxing. This is attained through the repetition of simple melodies at a slow to medium pace. This isn’t a very exciting album, but that isn’t usually what the genre is all about.

Judging by the colourful album cover, I assumed this album would sound more “warm” than it does. Instead much of the music here is intentionally atmospheric and strange. The vocals are sparse to say the least, and mostly unintelligible, this being primarily an instrumental release; however the song titles such as “Death’s Face” “The Thing” and “Sleepwalker” give away the darker theme that fits the style present on the album. Legend has it that Black Sabbath decided upon their sound when going to see a horror movie and wondering if people would appreciate the same kind of atmosphere in a musical format; and in truth the music here has more in common with the dark, apocalyptic riffs of early Black Sabbath than it does with the desert rock of Kyuss. That is not to say the album is totally dark and dismal however, and admittedly it is more psychedelic than anything else. The songs plod along at a comfortable pace and feature a more open composition than the pop sensibilities of bands like Spirit Caravan and Orange Goblin. Unlike their contemporaries Om, who build a spiritual, meditative sound, this has more in common with traditional riff based Heavy Metal. This record sort of straddles the line between obvious throwback retro metal and the more modern approach of largely instrumental, atmospheric and avant-garde Stoner Metal with long and repetitive, drawn out song structures. Like a soundtrack to a 70s horror movie played with heavily distorted guitars, it’s creepy, atmospheric and psychedelic in all the right ways. I don’t think this kind of thing will win any converts to the genre, but this is really quite enjoyable to anyone who has the patience for this style of music. I can see myself listening to this release many more times over the coming months. An acquired taste, but a taste to savour.

3.9/5

Paul Gibbins

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: