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Weedevil – The Return

Weedevil
The Return
by Mark Machlay at 15 June 2022, 5:45 AM

The Brazilian stoner/doom metal band WEEDEVIL have had their fair share of shakeups since their formation but are coming back revamped, re-energized and heavier than ever with their full-length studio debut album “The Return” released this past April. Their first full-length album was, in fact, a live album titled “Live Aurora Session” in 2020 consisting of a single, 26+ minute, unedited track. It contained many songs that would later be properly recorded on the self-titled EP “Weedevil” that was released in May of 2020. It seems there may have been some inner turmoil because they would lose a guitarist and vocalist the next year, leaving bassist Dani Plothow and drummer Flávio Cavichiolli. 2021 was not all unkind to the band as they gained not only a new vocalist in Lorraine Scar and not one, but two guitarist in Paulo Ueno from stoner/sludge/doom metal band PROJECT TRATOR and Bodão who previously played with tech/melodic death metal band ZILLA.

Armed with their new members, WEEDEVIL went into the studio with renewed vigor in early to mid-2021. They wasted no time and released the 2-track EP “The Death is Coming” containing the title track and the deceptively strong “Hi! I’m Lucifer”. It was a great appetizer for what the band could create and then got to work on their longer form release, “The Return”. The band says that the tracklist keeps, “winding between the melancholic, dark and electrifying, packed by deep and existential themes, narrating a kind of "opera" that promises to draw the listeners into a private, unique universe.” No longer an independent band, WEEDEVIL were able to secure a deal with Dutch label DHU Records,, allowing them to release a physical LP that will be released sometime after the digital release that happened on April 8th. With the backing of the label, the band is poised to significantly amplify their reach and take on the national scene.

From the thundering and overly low tuned instruments on the opening number, WEEDEVIL presents themselves strongly on “The Return” but outside of the uncommon use of a female vocalist, while the tracks were decently enticing, the production is bit uneven for me. “Underwater” the aforementioned opening number is a perfectly fine trudge through groovy, swampy, down-tuned guitar with a wildly psychedelic solo that may delight, but the disconnect of the track from the rest of the instruments was really distracting. At times it seemed like the guitar was in another room even though it was evenly mixed throughout both left and right sides which unfortunately, seems to pervade the entire album. As for the music itself, it’s a good mix of epic, slow, and doomy SABBATH-drenched riffs replete with Bill Ward jazzy drum fills with “The Void” and the “The Return” and shorter more bite sized tracks. The latter even has a hazy, fuzzy, effects filled guitar fill section in the middle while Lorraine Scar’s voice pleasantly drones in the background, but I wish her voice was a bit more present instead being locked behind a wall of trudging guitars. The best track for me was the tongue-in-cheek titled “Isn’t a Love Song” which is actually the most relatable and accessible song on the album.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Underwater
2. The Void
3. The Return
4. Isn’t a Love Song
5. Genocidal
Lineup:
Dani Plothow – Bass & Keyboards
Bodão – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Flávio Cavichiolli – Drums & Backing Vocals
Lorraine Scar – Vocals
Paulo Ueno – Guitars, FX & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Abraxas Records
     


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