The best part of modern stoner / doom / sludge metal is that, even though there have been shit-load of bands and albums coming through every fortnight for the last few years, the quality somehow seems to keep the seasoned fans interested, and in fact get more fans with new each album in this genre. Fuzz laden psychedelic stoner band FOGG simply takes you on a new ride, maybe more bumpy than you would have wanted with their new album ‘High Testament’ that was released June 22nd, through Tee Pee Records.
Most modern Stoner bands seem to maintain a sound between mid tempo and high tempo, trying to create the desert rock vibe or may be go the doom way. But FOGG create their own style that I haven’t heard a stoner band embrace and give a really unforgettable and pleasant experience. The fact that you don’t normally use words like “pleasant” in a metal site should say a lot here.
Driven by heavy fuzzy guitar riffs, ‘Joy Of Home’ tries to get speedy with some fast guitar solos, but the fuzzy sound really holds the sound together without letting it loose, before coming back to the mid-tempo riffage. ‘You are Welcome’ goes along the same line with some insane psychedelic vibes all throughout the track. I wonder what the boys were smoking during this song!
Words cant describe the feeling that the beautiful acoustic number ‘The Garden’ brings in, with those Radiohead styled low pitched vocals and what with the flute in the background, the music surely takes you to a different planet full of tranquillity! The album surely keeps the listener interested with the bass driven heavy sounding ‘Seasons’ boasting an array of headbanging riffs. ‘Mountain’ is full of slow fuzzy riffs of the higher guitar strings still managing to bring something new to the table by changing the pace of the song. ‘Hand Of The Lord’ leaves another sweet silky taste in you after the song especially due to the low pitched sharp vocals backed by the slow guitar strumming. The album ends with a roller-coaster ride of 10 minute track that is ‘Grass In Mind’, as it starts with a acoustic country / cowboy styled guitar strumming. The sound is very true to the band’s work, and large credit has to go the polished production used here and surprisingly it actually works unlike for most bands of this genre.
‘High Testament’ is an album that inspired me to write this review just after listening to just the first few songs. Its a really landmark album in stoner / desert rock genre, full of energy and innovativeness. FOGG is a must listen for the fans of the genre and has surely set the bar very high for its contemporaries. Stoner metal done right.