Howls From the Hills
This is the most primitive stoner metal album I’ve ever heard. I mean “primitive” in the sense that Dead Meadow has captured the very essence of a deep, deep “stoned” feeling. The listener is left in a barn at night, with the doors open, yet all the animals have left a strange “something” is in the air. That “something” is most likely the sound of heavy metal being played twenty miles away on a mountain, the melodies all distorted from the haze in the air… Thus, it is no surprise to me that the album was, in fact recorded in a barn in some Midwest and southern hills.
The atmosphere of the album is a slow, dirgey stoner metal. Grooviness is replaced by a slow drone, and it seems on some songs the “kick” is taken out altogether and replaced by what it must sound like on the inside of a hippie’s lungs. “The White Worm,” a song I thought was about tequila, but after checking the lyrics, is about personal madness, forced me to, well, put on a Judas Priest album just to snap me out of the trance. “The Breeze Always Blows” is a subtle piece of weird psychological horror and thus Howls From the Hills is for the most eclectic of stonerphiles and the bravest: their tip of the joint to American fantasy master Clark Ashton Smith was enough to approach the disk with caution…
Tolotta Records: http://www.tolotta.com