Maegashira – The Inner Workings Of Block Time

Take one part Electric Wizard, one part Crowbar, and a helping of hardcore-style attitude and aggression, and you get Maegashira, a four-piece New Jersey stoner/doom band who, while adhering to the traditions of the style, are able to make some excellent, attention-grabbing music on their debut demo, ‘The Inner Workings Of Block Time’. While this fusion is becoming awfully crowded these days, Maegashira proves that it still has some life in it, and that such life is perfectly capable of kicking your ass over and over again.

Typically, stoner/doom is more humble, introspective breed of metal. Not in this case: ‘Planet Smasher’, the opening track and by far the best of this demo, is utterly arrogant and dogmatic in its delivery. The vocals of JJ Koczan are massive Windsteinien shouts mixed with more subdued clean passages, but in either way they stay massively strong and powerful throughout the tracks here. String team George Pierro and John Eager have crafter some incredibly heavy riffs, mid-paced and pounding, with every palm mute and wrecking chord places appropriately. But on top of their brutality, they have a great grasp of dynamics as well, evidenced by the small break half way through ‘Planet Smasher’, making the ensuing doom march even more destructive. Last but not least, Steve Moraghan on drums adheres to stoner/doom traditions, crash cymbals and bass drum smashing throughout, but man is it compelling: I don’t know if it’s the (very clean and professional) production that’s aiding it, but it really sounds like he’s pounding the living hell out of his kit. A very nice sound in an age of triggers and relentless technical precision.

The four tracks on this demo weigh in at a very respectable half hour. Each of the tracks is radically different: while ‘Planet Smasher’ is absolutely dominating stoner/doom, ‘Day Of 1000 Fists’ is pure rock and roll (albeit a heavy as fuck breed of it) track. The riffing on ‘Hound’s Breath’ is a Black Sabbath tribute from top to bottom, and closer ‘When The Sewers Are Full The Streets Will Run With Shit’ sees the band’s slowest, darkest, most misanthropic track, approaching Buzzov*en territory more than any good-time Sleep music. There’s really something for everyone here, from those who want 70’s to those who want the future.

Maegashira has already proved themselves a formidable force in stoner/doom with ‘The Inner Workings Of Block Time’. If this is the band’s first output, I can only imagine what they have in store for us in the future. Definitely one to get as soon as possible.

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~ by noktorn on April 14, 2007.

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