Germany isn’t a country you wouldn’t normally associate with stoner rock, given how most of its successful musical exports in the metal and alternative umbrella of Music tend to lean towards thrash, heavy and traditional metal and some smatterings of industrial but Stoner rock four piece Conquered Mind hail from Esslingen and are looking to change this perception. With one album already released (Dusty Summer) the guys are set to unleash a big raw dose of groove on everyone.
Opening up with the ballsy sounding “You Gave Me Fire”, Conquered Mind have a real hook to them. Meaty riffs, harsh and raspy vocals delivered with bags of attitude over a steady pace with a real stomp-friendly groove, it’s a good way to get your attention. It’s minimalistic in its approach, just a few riffs which change about with their pace but the way they work with the vocals is solid. Also there is a real filthy blues styled solo too, that’s never a bad thing! “love Is Strong” follows it up with a real punchy feel and more big meaty riffs. With a real sleazy blues vibe to it, the track is steady paced with some great booming bass lines and interesting guitar harmonies under the real raw vocal delivery, reminiscent of and Down in that real stoner come sludgy sound. Much like the pervious track, it’s rather simple and stripped back until the hypnotic lead section near the end comes in but it’s nothing stellar.
“Need To Feel Me” is more expressive. A moody clean intro shifts into a distorted variant of itself and the track gets heavier as it goes on. Raspy vocals taunt as they’re almost lazily delivered in the verse before it all kicks in to great effect in the chorus and once again it has a real power behind it with thick sounding riffs to a pounding groove. What really stands out about this track though is the fantastic bass solo which flows wonderfully and makes a bit of a change from the usual guitar based leads you often come across. Sadly, after this, the album becomes all too familiar sounding.
Each of the subsequent tracks have their good moments, but they’re merely a slight variation in some ways of one of the three opening tracks which lure you in. “I Need you” is a heavier version of the first two tracks, “Because of You” is more blues influenced and “Heliophobia” is even filthier with its blues influence, containing some great guitar and bass trade-offs but by the time you reach the closing track, “Paradise” you’re left with a bitter taste, having heard near enough some variation of the same three tracks over and over. In its defence it does have some good laid back moments and some real flashy bluesy moments and it would be a good album to just zone out to or relax with, but it’s nothing special. Just solid sounding stoner metal.
Conquered Mind have the right ingredients, they just need to adjust the measurements ever so slightly and add some variety here and there to spice it up a little bit more, but if you want some pounding Teutonic groove to kick back with, you can’t go wrong here.