There’s plenty of tasty, tasty hybrid styles in the world of metal as we got throngs of bands in the veins of blackened death, atmospheric black, pagan metal, and so on. But to me, there’s probably no other hybrid style that’s delivered more consistently than stoner doom. It’s always busted out many bands that I always find to be nothing less than a real treat to the ears, and with the introduction of Desert Kingdom, that fact does seem to be waning anytime soon.
A band’s debut album really has to do one of two things in order to gain the attention of listeners with ease. The band can either try to something different or add in another component (ex.: keyboards or some other instrument) to bring another layer to the music that sets it apart from the rest, or the band could just do what many have done before them but bring their own flavor and hope that’s enough for whoever is listening. Desert Kingdom seemed to have taken a leap of faith and went with the second option, and I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t work. The seven tracks we’re greeted with on this self-titled debut really have a lot of character to them, not soul – character, that really help keep the music going where either the rhythms or the vocals fall short, but that rarely happens if at all. Every component of this band comes together seamlessly to create a real crunchy stoner doom experience that still manages to deliver for even people who aren’t the biggest fans of the style by bringing the riffs and energy that many bands of this kind lack. Yet, Desert Kingdom easily proved by the second track alone that they’re more than the typical stoner doom group.
I don’t know about you, but a band that can just as easily make due by taking the same style and just adding their own flavor will get nothing but respect from me. To do that and still have it come out to be a pristine record that’s an absolute joy to listen to? Sign me up! Desert Kingdom has done just that with their debut album, and I’ve more than enough confidence in these gentlemen to say that they can produce something even more than what they’ve done here, they just have to tap into it.
“Desert Kingdom” releases on February 3rd!
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