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Master Charger - Origin of the Lugubrious

Master Charger
Origin of the Lugubrious
by Eric Poulin at 06 October 2020, 6:52 AM

MASTER CHARGER is a Stoner Metal band based out of Nottingham, England in the United Kingdom and have been around since 2009. This is their 5th full-length release entitled Origin of the Lugubrious released on August 21st 2020, through Stoned Rocka Recordings. The album begins with the title track that has the infamous needle on the vinyl record effect in the early stages and some psychedelic effects in the backgrounds. It transcends into some gritty rocking riffs that in some ways reminded a lot of the latter days of WITCHCRAFT and UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS but I would say it is definitely dirtier in its overall tone than the two bands mentioned above. The added double-bass drums also add a layer of energy in what is usually more doom-laden drum patterns.

The fuzz-infected “Embers of the Sun” has some aggressive vocals that really go between the more traditional growls and some clean screams, but always remain rather harsh. The style really fits with what we are accustomed to in the “desert rock” genre. The music itself relies on a simple structure and a fair dose of repetition. I prefer the lower tone they use at key moments in the song. “Blood _ Sand” relies more on guitar effects than the previous 2 tracks and also has a bit more of hardcore meet stoner edge. What really stands out for me however is how they really master those low-key parts that add a lot of meat to the song. There is a very clear distinction between the rest of the song with the more straight-sounding guitar riffs that allow these heavier passages to stand out.

Who the Hell Are You” has that old school groove that is the absolute substance of stoner metal and while the other songs have their heavier parts, this song actually has more melodic and higher notes that make the song memorable. Also, there is a very dark and creepy portion that shows that even amongst the dirty riffs, there is room for some lugubrious (yes as the title suggests) elements. If you love being buried and sludge, then look no further than “Buried by Time and Dust”, not only is this number cavernous in its approach, it breathes 1970s occult rock, somehow combined with almost experimental touches that brought me back to the 1990s when PANTERA used to try and add inventive sides to their music.

The high distortion on “Our Time Has Come” should please fans of the very loud aspects of the genre and it really pounds through because of its accentuated bass tones in the guitars. I can imagine a song like this in a live atmosphere and how it must completely engulf the room, it just has that incredibly heavy rock side to it that I absolutely love in CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. Lastly, we have “Earthbound Hellbound” which feels like a trip in a psychedelic warp of amplifiers and noise, that again flows the juices of some key bands like KYUSS yet creates its own little world of demise, dismay and impending doom (pun intended).

Overall, what I really appreciated the most out of the album were these diverse guitar tones that are essential to the style but also add a lot of depth, warmth to the songs. The only element that I find takes away a bit from the music are the vocals that do not vary all that much from song to song. There are some clean notes in every song, with the more traditional screams, but they could definitely have more effects or go a bit lower at times. As for the rest, the songs really flow well into each other and all have their specialties.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Origin of the Lugubrious
2. Embers of the Sun
3. Blood _ Sand
4. Who the Hell Are You
5. Buried by Time and Dust
6. Our Time Has Come
7. Earthbound Hellbound
Lineup:
Jon Kirk - Drums
Dave Hayes - Bass
J.H.P - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Stoned Rocka Recordings
     


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