Afterwards we were sitting in the bar having a beer or two. We were talking about all make an manner of things in our lives. Randomly I blurted out, I'm way into doom metal these days.
Now, my buddy is a huge fan of music, but he's hardly metal. We did spend a fun night at Iron Maiden a few years back, but that was an anomaly rather than a staple.
So, frankly, he just laughed at my expression of devotion for a certain sub-genre of metal and since then my love of the lighter side of metal, along with the more extreme side, has really grown.
If it makes you feel, better, we can call them movements rather than trends.
Since that conversation with my friend, there have been countless amazing doom metal records.
Sump Pump Records put out Cycles of Mobeum by Druids last year and now they're back with another brilliant release, the debut record from Telekinetic Yeti of Dubuque, IA. I've decided to set aside old Junior B hockey rivalries for this review....
The Dubuque Duo has come to us with beards and fuzz in abundance. Also, guitar strings. Our new friends employ extra strings on the guitar to get just that little push over the cliff, like Nigel Tufnel's Custom Marshall Amps. (There also appears to be some bass guitar underneath the guitars to thicken up the stew.)
Telekinetic Yeti's Anthony Dryer, like other acts (long) before them has made metal without using, or abusing, the blast beat. In many cases, the blast beat has sapped some creativity from metal drummers relying on the tried and true convention.
The fact that this reviewer isn't much of a fan of drummers, the fact that I found myself really focusing on the drum lines, really speaks volumes about the quality here.
After a time, it hit me, there aren't any blast beats. It's amazing that's a significant thing in metal in 2017, considering such metal giants like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden (mostly), Metallica, and more don't really use blast beats.
Guitarist/vocalist (and suspected bassist) Alex Baumann brings forth a level of fuzz unbeknownst to humankind. What he does that's a bit unusual is his use of the phaser during standard riffing. As an attempted guitarist, the phaser to me was always a very cool sounding effect, but the idea of using it for more than just on an intro piece, seemed wrong.
Thankfully Baumann has shown me just how wrong I was.
The riffs twist and turn while his guitar shudders under the weight of his playing. More importantly, Baumann and Dryer seem to be connected at the cerebellum as they are able to make the most logic defying tempo changes.
True to Doom Metal form, the music is slow and trance inducing. The vocals have an undercurrent of extreme anger, but it never bubbles over to the top.
This album will ensnare anyone who happens to hear its siren call.
Sump Pump Records is a labor of love and uses basic packaging. It's not fancy, but that's never been why I listen to records in the first place. The LP itself is sturdy, flat, and sounds amazing.
No matter how small, they include a download code with every single release. If you check the purchase link to preorder this beauty, you'll also see that they're not gouging anyone who's interested in the music either. Sorry, but one of my giant pet peeves is the major labels are selling their vinyl releases at prices double their indie competition.
Telekinetic Yeti has created a stellar album that using less is more, except in the guitar effects category and Sump Pump Records has pressed that album onto a great sounding vinyl.
Get this in your ears now.
Genre: Doom Metal
Label: Sump Pump Records
LE: 200 Black
If that's not enough....check out their official video. This was the first experience I had with them and it's jaw dropping.