Festering somewhere in Galway, stoner doom three-piece Weed Priest are a band with a self-explanatory name, it must be said. They say first impressions are everything and when Weed Priest introduce themselves at first, they make it rather clear what you’re getting – a haze of smoky, murky stoner doom conjured from the abyss. Having played a number of shows over the years and released demo recordings, it seemed like the band were working on a full-fledged release at pretty much the same pace that their music trudges but lo and behold, Weed Priest’s self-titled is upon us and it’s an adventurous and brave record for a debut.
Channelling the usual suspects of Electric Wizard and Sleep, in fact their name is taken from a Dopesmoker lyric, Weed Priest offer up a misty slab of stoner doom that while often derivative still makes a valiant effort to be a little more them. While a lengthy effort at an hour, and one that meanders freely in the protracted songs, it’s still invigorating with its focus and poise.
Trudging sluggish riffs are the order of the day, complemented by droning, miasmic vocals that recall the influences of Jus Osborn with the album’s opening number of ‘Final Spell’. It’s an appropriate title as Weed Priest conjure only the darkest spells with their chunks of slithering doom.
While you’ll easily become lost in the smoky surrounds, every so often a scything riff will enter to pierce the intoxicating din and jolt the listener from their reverie. Take ‘Thy Kingdom Gone’ as a perfect example of this. Then the final track, and the longest one at near-14 minutes, ‘Day of Reckoning’ is the record’s most lethargic and soul draining listen, which appropriately brings this effort to an end, one that was very much an endurance test for the ears.
Supposedly the band aren’t going to rest on their laurels and already have a bevy of new material in the works with a possible second album making its way to us by the end of the year. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen but what’s important is sticking with the here and now and this self-titled album, which is available directly from the band.