Floridian stoner-sludge trio Shroud Eater are back for another fuzzed-out ride through the deep-south heavy metal swamps with their latest full-length, Strike the Sun. Despite the band's prolific output, including a split with Dead Hand late last year and a 13-minute epic single released in February, their knack for churning out monolithic, filthy doom seems more honed than ever.
Transcendental opener "Smokeless Fire" sets the mood with its witchy, ethereal chanting nestled snugly among sustained, rumbling distortion, only to break into a more ominous, resentful tone on "Iron Mountain." The classic minimal approach to the drums here builds tension at a languid, knuckle-dragging pace until mid-song, when the upswing in tempo adds a feral energy to the hypnotic pace of the album thus far.
They wield seminal genre markers like seven-minute run times and cyclical droning riffs with a heavy hand until the album grinds to a dreamy halt at the midpoint track, "Dream Flesh." The light keyboard refrain and underlying buzz highlight the airy vocals; I get strong Subrosa vibes here, and that is a very good thing. The album hits fever pitch on the next-to-last "Unseen Hand." While never fully breaking into thrash or punk territory, the spit-in-your-face attitude is strong and pulls them into a solid finale with "Futile Exile."
Strike the Sun is out tomorrow, July 7 on STB Records and can be found here. The record release show is happening August 18th at Gramps in Miami, FL, and you can keep up to date with them via their Facebook.
Kelsey Zimmerman is doomed on Twitter.