Review Summary: The analog men are back with heavy grooves...
One of the hidden gems in the contemporary American stoner scene returned after a six-year absence. For those unaware of their music, Wo Fat offer a beefed up spin on the Texas boogie, complete with fuzz-drenched, NOLA-sized riffs and a psychedelic touch. Up to 2016’s Midnight Cometh
, the trio-turned-quartet successfully crafted a trademark sound whose crisp production was upgraded with each release. Nevertheless, they preserved the heaviness of the songs, using that muddy distortion to great effect. This latest effort entitled The Singularity
is another mammoth of an album. As expected, it encompasses the entire sonic spectrum they have been expanding upon. Right from the beginning, “Orphans of the Singe” builds a brooding atmosphere, as if you’re about to venture into the swamps. With phaser-soaked guitars and dry percussion, the track slowly grows into a hard hitting, mid-tempo rager. Halfway through this 14-minute epic, the band enters into a multiple segment journey, where guitar solos abound and things become heavier by the minute. Then comes a drop into a moodier jam and the sing-along vocals work really nice over the melodic chords.
Another highlight is “Overworlder”, going from smooth, ZZ Top on steroids noodling to catchy choruses. The bass tone is magnificent, especially its low end. The conventional structure of the first part prepares you for the avalanche of instrumental grooves about to follow. You can just lay back and enjoy the fuzz onslaught. It’s moments like these where the production shines most. Same goes for album closer, “The Oracle”, a slowly unfolding odyssey. After a low-key introduction, the percussion assisted drums lock into a cool, busy rhythm together with the bass line. Guitars follow the patterns, maintaining this hypnotic riff for a number of minutes, until breaking into a hazy interlude. Oscillators take off around the main instruments, before more uplifting interplay kicks in. Although the atmosphere lightens up a bit, Wo Fat ultimately decide to end The Singularity
with an appropriate chunky riff. These 10+ minute songs are harder to digest, however, most of the time they portray best the band’s strengths. Nevertheless, more immediate cuts such as “The Unraveling” or the title track are just as immersive. Both start with fast paced, barn burning bluesy grooves only to inevitably descend into darker territory. Sludgy guitars are present as well, yet the guys found a balance between those and old school doom metal riffage. For example, the scorching beast “The Snows of Banquo IV” resides at this sonic crossroad, throwing some jam rock in the mix too. No matter how heavy the group gets, they always return to hip shaking melodies. I’m glad they decided to stick to their guns and come back with such a tight record. The Singularity
is a step forward for them down their own sonic path and I can’t wait to hear more.