Review Summary: Past all the trials and tribulations ‘Reverence To Stone’ needs a sense of patience to be accepted completely.
A shift in members, issues with former drug habits and yet Samothrace are willing to produce music. They haven’t hit the high peaks but with Reverence To Stone
they have set up camp at the mountain they’re about to climb. With two tracks the album itself is quite brief; the first of which aptly named ‘When We Emerged’ provides a nihilistic, sludgy approach winding back and forth around a typically slow tempo. This track is as much of an example of the promise this group has but it’s missing what the debut Life’s Trade
or even acts such as Until Death Overtake Me has. The tracks are well presented and have all the fundamentals of a great funeral doom track but for Samothrace, they lack the execution to pull this off to the best of their capabilities.
The second and longer track ‘A Horse of Our Own’ waddles on for just over twenty minutes and features a better sense of song writing for engaging the listener. There is still that slight sludge aspect to the track that helps the track progress without becoming too boring for the listener. It doesn’t feel like a tiring listen and the tempo even shifts during the song creating a growing intensity that will gain momentum or loosen its grip on the listener, drawing them in and then letting go completely. Samothrace takes aspects of your blackest metal, sludge, blues melodies and minimalistic doom metal to create a solid albeit grudging listen. The music isn’t exactly tiring but there are instances that do lull the listener away from the music itself. Wailing screamed vocal lines echo in the back of tracks and predominantly the instrumental capacity of both tracks takes centre stage. The vocals interestingly enough when used sparcely adds to the overall atmosphere that’s created without overpowering or restricting the ringing chords and cymbal splashes. The screams help add a depth to tracks that would have been lost if they were a constant part of the noise.
Samothrace haven’t completely bounced back from the debut Life’s Trade
, they seem to have built upon it though. With the record coming in at just over thirty minutes listeners are left to wonder what the inclusion of another track may have done to the record. Chances are it would’ve helped maintain the overall atmosphere that was being built, not to mention reinforce the doom aspect of the album. The album in itself does provide enough of a sludge holistic filled atmosphere thrown together with some post rock aspects to be a steady listen on its own terms but when compared to the debut or even other acts it unfortunately falls short of leaving the desired impression. What Samothrace can take from this however is that they have the right gear to climb the mountain, they just need to start the ascent.