събота, 22 юни 2013 г.

Stangala - Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All (2011)

Stangala is this very strange stoner rock, trippy doom-like band from France. By saying 'strange' I really mean strange and the fact that I don't understand a single word from their songs makes them even weirder for me. These guys from France have decided to name their album and songs in Breton, which can cause a big confusion if you're a foreigner like me. Apart from my confusion, I think that singing in such a language creates a very intimate and magical atmosphere. The Celtic influence can be seen on the very awesome cover picturing the guys wearing robes in some hazy odd place. The colours used and the Celtic motives serve fantastically to present the music to someone who hears the band for a first time and actually this is how I decided to check these folks out.

The first song "Doom rock glazik" is this very catchy, almost disco hard rock *don't throw a stone at me* with its folk dancing atmosphere. I don't mean ''catchy'' in a bad mainstream way, it's just very pagan and rock'n'roll at the same time. You can almost picture a coven dancing around a smoking cauldron. "Al Lidou Esoterik An Dolmen Hud" is perfect mixture of some of Electric Wizard's most obscure instrumental songs. I'm not a big geek on gear, amps and all that, but the sound is just as vintage as in "House on the Borderland" from the EW/Reverend Bizarre split. The vocals are not as buried as in typical Wizard songs and the fact that the guy is singing in Breton really makes the songs on this album sound kinda strange and different. In some of the songs you can hear something like a pipe. The pipe and the vocals are what makes these guys stand out and in my opinion add an "exotic" feeling to the band. The pipe playing along with the guitar solos creates a really cool "high" effect.

There are heavier songs on the album, for example, "Langoliers" which has pretty heavy almost black metal pounding drums and one of the most stoner rock riffs on the record. The odd combination of a stoner riff and such strange drums creates a hazy feeling and makes this instrumental almost impossible to classify. There are also other weird songs on this album, like "Bigoudened an diaoul" with Queens of the Stone Age guitar sound and very slow stoned vocals. Some of the last songs on the album are also instrumentals with the common mushroom, psychedelic, crazy prolonged solo. There are these very doomy songs and the psychedelic feeling and then there are more stoner songs, which is very cool for it makes the album not boring at all. Let me be clear - by saying that the songs are doomy I mean doomy not DOOMy, not anything too heavy, slow or too distorted.

Indeed, I've heard hundreds of stoner and doom bands in the latest years and very few of them sound as weird as Stangala. I can't really explain why - may it be the unexpected mixture of sound, vocals and amps, but all these songs sound very different. Someone might find this as a downfall, because it makes the album not so "complete" but rather "mixed" and too diverse, but I think that's cool. The fact that I enjoy an album that is not written in English is also quite rare and speaks very well of these guys, it means that there's something more to the music since I can't be impressed with the lyrics and fully immersed in the idea behind the music. 

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