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Dead Meadow - Force, Form, Free

Dead Meadow
Force, Form, Free
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 26 January 2023, 3:13 PM

The trend of bands doing music in the formats of the 60’s and 70’s gave birth to very good names, and many that don’t need mentioning (due their lack of personality). Today, as an established musical genre, there are tons of bands, so the fans must take care when dealing with releases. The best to do: to check if they’re worthy of such effort. And the North American trio DEAD MEADOW can be good or not (depending of what the fan is looking for), as can be checked on “Force, Form, Free”. They’re a Psychedelic/Stoner Rock act that fuses the Stoner/Doom approach of BLACK SABBATH on its heavier moments, but with many experimental/lysergic parts resembling a lot what PINK FLOYD did on its past.

But pay attention to one fact: the trio knows what they’re doing, and do it with personality, creating very good contrasts of ambiences (sometimes can be tender and deep, as heard on “Let the Time Go By”; on others, it’s bitter and oppressive, as on “The Left Hand Path”), and very good organic instrumental arrangements. But the ‘not good’ part for some fans is that it can sound boring for those that aren’t used to such musical genre. In other words: “Force, Form, Free” is an album only for those who are into the genres of the past. As expected of an album of such genre, the sonority is organic, dirty and free of compromises, as it could be a recording that happening during a rehearsal. But it’s not a full of dirty to the point that one can’t understand what being expressed by the trio (it’s the opposite, to be clear). But if these words aren’t clear, the following will do the job: it’s the needed sonority for the trio’s musical expressions.

There are only six songs on this album, and everyone will show its values for the fans of the genre. But for a deeper dive into what they want to express, the right ones for the first visit are “The Lure of the Next Peak” (an experimental song filled with psychedelic ambiences, with lysergic clean guitar parts working with synths), “Valmont’s Pad” (a calm song, but based on an electric appeal, with good guitar riffs and solid bass work playing), “To Let the Time Go By” (filled that dirty ‘noir’ feeling of Stoner Rock, with a strong and organic drumming tempering the tenderness), and “Force Form Free” are the better ones. Oh, by the way: the main structure of the album is instrumental, so enjoy the ride!

It can be said that “Force, Form, Free” is an album that DEAD MEADOW recorded for themselves, but it doesn’t mean that it will have no appeal with the fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Left Hand Path
2. The Lure of the Next Peak
3. Valmont’s Pad
4. To Let the Time Go By
5. Force Form Free
6. Binah
Jason Simon - Vocals, Guitars
Steve Kille - Bass, Sitar
Mark Laughlin - Drums
Record Label: Blues Funeral Recordings


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