Brant Bjork
Tao of the Devil


3.8
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
September 29th, 2016 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Keeping the flame alight...

One of the main figures in stoner rock is back with a brand new record, The Tao of the Devil. Less than two years after a staggering return to the solo career that further cemented his status as a legend, Brant Bjork smoothly moves forward by crafting another strong addition. Much like Black Power Flower or just about any of his LPs, we receive a batch of humble tunes, oozing ‘70s rock, this time complete with a fitting production harkening back to the respective era.

Although less turbo charged, Tao of the Devil shares powerful moments like ‘Humble Pie’ or ‘The Greeheen’ which bring out that unmistakable dual, fuzz-drenched attack. The former resembles a soundtrack to a ride on the coast, its guitar licks and heavily driving bass offering a sweet, sunny atmosphere, whereas the latter channels Black Sabbath through a trudging riff that breaks midway into a typical Bjork boogie. Meanwhile, ‘Stackt’ is a lazy rocker that only Brant can pull off. The major work is done by the trademark attitude over a fat bass line, whereas the man sings a couple of verses every minute or so. Nevertheless, the dirty finale will have you head banging in slow motion whilst accepting his reign over an entire genre.

Moving along, we find the good time praising, ‘Luvin’’, a tune that resembles some of those relaxed grooves of his early ‘00s material. As per usual, the stop-start riffing and swinging choruses roll by naturally. Then there is also the centerpiece, ‘Dave’s War’, a 9-minute epic offering an engaging rock ‘n’ roll first part where Brant shouts over dynamic grooves. After a subdued middle segment, the band lashes out on a long coda jam, bringing out genuine Kyuss moments. The dueling guitars on top of circular rhythm patterns carry on for minutes, at times speeding the tempo. I like how they mixed the entire song, as each instrument has its own vibe and can be clearly heard all the way. In a similar fashion to previous efforts, the title track ends the trip with a slow burning, campy feel, where a repetitive guitar lead is joined by a deep bass, bluesy drum beats & Bjork’s smokey vocals. This is a really nice comedown to a short but very sweet record.

Call him lazy or how you want, but then again, nobody does this stuff like Brant Bjork. Everybody copies or inserts similar parts in their own music, however, this is where it all comes from. Such fine, laid back, groovy rock made in the peaceful Mojave Desert gets done by fewer people these days and, thankfully, he’s one of those who actually keep the flame alight.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


4308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Great stuff as usual. This album works better as a cohesive unit than others. Black Power Flower had some slightly more rewarding highlights, hence the 3.8 here. Anyway, a must listen for any fan!



'Dave's War' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBpVH8z3ZG8

'Stackt' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsTYwmW9YA4

'The Greeheen' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihShumGvujE

'Tao of the Devil' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZ1Rhvo2i0

'Biker No. 2' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpi7fnJONro



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shamanicphysics
September 29th 2016


83 Comments


i like it. weed!

Pajolero
September 29th 2016


844 Comments


Another one already? Fuck me, that guy's productive.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


7514 Comments


Call him lazy

The guy has recorded 11 albums, suffice to say he's anything but.


On another note, I should definititely check this.

Digging: Lock Howl - Pareidolia

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
September 30th 2016


10571 Comments


Good review, glad that you rated it so high since I really enjoyed the single (not sure which one it was though). Definitely going to have to grab a copy of this.

Digging: Vampyric Blood - Howling in Candlelight

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


4308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks!



I mentioned him being lazy because the music is simple. Nevertheless, this is the way it should stay, nobody does it better than him.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


10412 Comments


Great review Raul.

I'm somewhere around a 3 and a 3.5 for this one. Great laid-back atmosphere.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


4308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks! That's what I thought too at the beginning but it really grew on me

DeadGuy
September 30th 2016


909 Comments


nice gotta check it out

NorthBorder
September 30th 2016


14 Comments


so has this guy learnt to sing yet or nah

ChaoticVortex
March 12th 2017


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The two epics (Dave's War and Evening Jam) make this album. Such a cool, laid-back and atmospheric vibe they project. Brant can't do no wrong.



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