Gran Poder

Southern Lord
rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Geryon's Throne
02. Arrodillate Ante La Madera Y La Piedra
03. Oficio De Tinieblas
04. El Lamento Del Cabron
05. Genocide

In a glaring departure from Southern Lord's usual….oh wait…forget it, this is definitive Southern Lord style doom 'n' drone. "Gran Poder" by Spain's ORTHODOX is the kind of buzzing, droning, and mind expanding doom that The Lord continues to seek out and unleash upon the pockets of star gazer and cave dwellers found across the globe. Originally released in Europe on Spain's Alone Records, the Southern Lord version includes an exclusive bonus track, a cover of VENOM's "Genocide", which pretty much sounds like the original version, albeit with a slightly different sound (in other words it is not exactly the doom version). But anyway, the rest of this 61-minute (5 tracks) album consists of long periods of droning doom, primal minimalism, and the occasional quicker tempo fuzz jam.

The unit does not waste any time introducing the listener to its brain-warping hymns, as the 27-minute opener "Geryon's Throne" demonstrates. Monolithic doom riffs next to contra bass lines, low-end rumble, and a kind of howling/chanting vocal are heard, as are a lead guitar part that sounds more like a the cry of a desperate man than a solo, speedier sections, and a cacophony of feedback, and Neanderthal drumming. An ominous bass line and free-jam drumming is heard on "Arrodillate Ante La Madera Y La Piedra", while the minute-and-a-half piano/drum interlude "Oficio De Tinieblas" serves as a mere moment of general unease before the doom 'n' drone is heard again on "El Lamento Del Cabron". However, this time the band launches into a KYUSS-like rolling buzz-riff with faster tempos during the first-half of the cut, but not without once again returning to the land of the long and slow for the remainder of this 17-minute song.

Are you a worshipper at the throne of the Southern Lord collective? You probably better be to enjoy "Gran Poder", as it is an acquired taste, just as what is heard on albums from bands like EARTH and BORIS. Either way, the Spaniards' U.S. debut is one that should satisfy most fans' dope-sick cravings for droning mind-melt.

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