That’s One Big Tree
Few things in nature are as awe-inspiring as the mighty redwood. Living for thousands of years, and growing large enough to blot out the sun, the aura these giants exude is, at times, unfathomable. It’s this sense of vastness that Boston duo Olde Growth hopes to capture with their debut record, Olde Growth.
Opener “The Grand Illusion” dutifully introduces us to bassist/vocalist Stephen LoVerme and drummer Ryan Berry, and their brand of driving, fantastical stoner/doom metal. One can’t help but be impressed by the sheer amount of sound these guys put out, a feat that most four-piece bands would struggle to duplicate. On “Cry Of The Nazgul/The Second Darkness/To The Black Gate,” LoVerme demonstrates remarkable vocal range, shifting easily from classic rock vocals to raspy death bellows. “Sequoia” is definitely the showpiece here; a 7-minute powerhouse of shambling bass riffs, pounding percussion, and mystical lyrics. Bringing the album to a close is “Awake,” a gut-wrenching journey through the forest of the mind, and one that would make stoner godfathers Sleep very proud.
Like their contemporaries The Sword and Tweak Bird, Olde Growth opts for older production values here, and it was a wise choice. Large reverb schemes and very little compression lends itself quite well to the band’s mega-arboreal approach to songwriting, paying tribute to the old masters while still moving into the future. Put simply, the record sounds great.
Even though the band is squarely in the stoner/doom category, they still defy description, and must be heard to be understood. Fans of the new stoner metal (The Sword, Tweak Bird, High On Fire) will want to check this out, as will fans of the unique (a bass and drum stoner duo? Come on!). Keep an eye on these mighty redwoods; they’ll be here for quite a while.