Vast sounding sludge doom that blasts the listener – slowly of course- through space and time like the TARDIS powered by Mogadon. These Swedes like it hard heavy deep and slow like David Coverdale playing Scrabble for viagara. Opening an album with a ten minute track and stating in the press release that they have made this album “easier to digest and less overwhelming for the listener” makes me wonder what their last release must have been like! According to their label “I Hate” Ocean Chief should be filed under Stoner/Sludge/ Doom. So often I see bands pigeonholed like this and think that I can recognise traits of one genre but not the others etc. In Ocean Chief case this is spot on. The relentless murk and mossy creep of sludge is there in abundance with the groove and munchies inducing riffs of the stoner world and the heavy as fuck cross wielding Doom brigade loping about in the foreground. This is definitely evident on the opening title track. If this ten minutes have turned you off you better run and hide cos Ocean Chief are at your door and they have a sonic screwdriver bong maaaan.
Oandligher drops the pace – how is that possible- and the rumble is like a platoon of Soviet tanks descending upon Patrick Swayze and friends. There is no way you can Dirty Dance your way out of this one my friends. Five minutes in the pace picks up and there is a feel of rushing through the vortex (I did not put anything on my weetos this morning I promise).
Farden lightens things up a little with an almost Arabic feel – reminds me of Kiss Me era Cure which delights me no end. If only tonight we can sludge?
Urtriden that follows is back to sludgy doom but is almost thrash like in comparison to the opening tracks. It whips by in a blur at 3:33. Which leaves Frihet at 2:24 like one of those competitive tracks on Wehrmacht albums looking for the coveted “Shortest song everrrrrr” title. A Cry Baby Wah is used to provide the vocal line providing us astronauts with some psyche for our astro bike.
“Morker” – that should be a statement of how much more nanu you are than someone else. In reality it is a heavy as a tonne of salt liquorice slice of metal . This track is hard to review as the music is telling me to wig out and stop being so square, why you reviewing us? Just give in. Just give in. Tobias Larsson gives it all on the drums before he opens his gob (he is also the vocalist you see) and roars back at us from a black star in the neon nebula. (help!)
Final track Vandringen does not do a great job of bringing me back to earth, or so I think at first. This instrumental grooves along before slowing the engines of this spacecraft to an idle before removing the key and leaving me back on earth , bewildered and checking my colon for signs of probing.
(8/10 Matt Mason)