Sandbreaker – Worm Master
‘Upside Down World’ pretty much sets the tone for 90% of the album. The heavy guitars with plodding drum and rumbling bass that feel right out of a funeral doom group like Intaglio that support the Virgin Black style vocals (“Fortissmo” era) with monotone and entranced tones pretty much is what listeners are going to get on this album. It is not a bad style, but for those who are not used to slower doom or post/ stoner doom might become a little bored by the time they reach ‘Covered by Sand’. The instruments don’t really change their pace or tone on the album, although ‘Worm Master’ sheds the distorted tones and completely digs into more psychedelic stoner doom tones with some excellent guitar melodies and lets the vocals add some more chanting background tones versus the monotone growl shoved in the front that they always seem to take. This probably stand out as the one highlight track aside from ‘Golden Path’ which tends to shed the guitar and drums for a lot of the solo vocal time which, with its own reverb alone, sounds pretty impressive and unique when it isn’t competing with everything else.
Other tracks like ‘Aqua Karma’ and ‘Tomb…’ try to add a bit more groove and a faster pace to the music, but the vocals tend to the stay the same pace and tone as they do on the other tracks, so the change might not even really be noticed. Still, Sandbreaker are great at keeping up that hypnotic quality of the music the entire album through, so there is a strong ambient feel that goes well with stoner/ post metal groups such as these. While “Worm Master” is kind of a difficult album to head bang to due to its pace and lack of a variety in riffs, one could possibly do it slowly, but the crushing tones are rather soothing and something that metal fans could relax to or even use as excellent background music because while this album does crush like a desert storm, it doesn’t violently sweep one away versus slowly immersing ears in a thick sound that has one hooked before they realize its too late. If one can get by the first two tracks without issue, then this album will probably sit well with them for all 33 minutes.
3.5 / 5 STARS