Soma in one word: drudgery.
Relapse Records, 2013
3.0 / 10
Richmond, Virginia gave us what is possibly the best American metal band since Pantera when Lamb of God hit the scene in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, the city also gave us Windhand. Soma is the group’s second effort, and I’m less than impressed. A combination of doom and stoner metal is what these guys claim as a genre, and it’s accurate, but also, in this case, boooooring. Here’s the lineup, for those interested: Asechiah Bogdan, guitars; Garrett Morris, guitars; Dorthia Cottrell, vocals; Ryan Wolfe, drums; and Parker Chandler on bass.
Soma clocks in at about an hour and fifteen minutes in length, and is six songs long. That, to me, unless you’re talking about bands like Porcupine Tree or Dream Theater, is generally a bad sign. Expect a lot of slow stomping riffs (which are pretty good in and of themselves), repetitive droning, and a general lack of sonic variation overall. All of the songs on this record could be cut to half-length, or even a quarter-length, without suffering at all. The only song I really liked was the acoustic and somewhat ethereal “Evergreen”, which still winds up being stupid-repetitive (as in two chords and that’s it) by the time it’s over. Really, all the songs on this album follow that same general formula: two chords, distortion (with the exception of “Evergreen”) near-indecipherable lyrics, and the occasional guitar lead line that’s buried waaay too deep in the mix to really be appreciated. A slight augmentation to this formula is the final track “Boleskine”, which managed to pad its length to OVER 30 GODDAMN MINUTES with all the aforementioned offenses by adding the sound of wind across a plain every so often.
The Bottom Line: I remain severely unimpressed. Those that like boring doom metal might enjoy this, but even then, I bet not.