First Communion: Stoned Jesus

Rating: 85%

316469.jpgStoned Jesus is a Stoner/Doom Metal from the Ukraine formed in 2009. The original formation of the band was composed of Igor Sidorenko on guitars and lead vocals, Nikolay on bass, and Alexandr on drums. “First Communion” was their first LP, released in 2010 with only four songs, clocking in at 40 minutes.

Overall this record is a good effort for the Stoned Jesus. It’s doomy with the traditional slower rhythms, while some of the song structures contain an upbeat tempo and more aggressive approach. It’s heavy, deep and has a good bit of leads and lots of good riffs. The bass work is funky and straight forward and drum lines are good. The melody is good and changes consistently. The vocal style is comparable to early Ozzy vocals of Black Sabbath’s self entitled release. Not a lot of vocal harmony. Lyrically, the band writes themes of love and occultism.

The opening track, “The Occult” begins with the classic Doom Metal slower heavy riffs which slowly build into the first verse. The guitar work in this song is very impressive. There’s a good balance within the tone and song structure. It’s heavy, slow and then the vocal work softly makes it way into the song. At first, the music seems to drown out the vocal work and then once the melody changes, the vocal seems to come more to the forefront. The lead in the outro is very good.

The second track “Red Wine” is a more upbeat song. It still retains that crunchy sound of the bass, but the guitar work is very mellow. The vocal work is a lot better. It has a good vibe and is a bit funky. It almost has a classic rock feeling to it. The chorus is simple, it’s heavy and then once the verses kick back in, there’s that nice mellow sound. The bridge is nicely worked in and changes the flow of the structure itself. Then a nicely done lead comes in.

“Black Woods” is the third track. It begins with a guitar playing a hard, but not distorted riff which the band comes in and the classic doom metal is unveiled. The vocal work is much influenced by early Ozzy Black Sabbath. The guitar work in the verses also help to pull that early Black Sabbath sound off. The bridge that leads into the chorus is is blended by the same three chords as the opening, but the sound is different giving it a much harsher sound to it. Then the guitar solo comes in, which is very atmospheric which is one of the reasons why this is also called stoner music. After the solo, it goes into the intro and opening chords and chorus.

“Falling Apart” is another song that begins with guitar softly playing a pretty cool riff, almost as if it was a practice warm up. It’s followed by the heavy distortion which the bass and drums come in on cue. The vocal work on the opening and one of two verses is very atmospheric, almost as if it is in the background of the song. Another soft groove accompanied by the drums and bass is heard once you get past the second verse. Although soft, there is a certain degree of aggression to it as you are waiting for the music to pick up. A soft bluesy solo comes in with some audio work. The music gets heavier and more distorted which leads into another very atmospheric lead.

 

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