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Album Review: GOD ROOT Salt And Rot

Posted by on July 13, 2017 at 7:12 am

God Root have been one of my favorite smaller Philadelphia bands for a minute now. Their unique brand of gut crushing doom fused with weird experimental sounds and touches of hash noise make for music that is quite unlike anyone else in their scene. While they certainly thrive off of how unique they are, I also get the impression that the execution isn't quite there, and as much as I love the concepts I sometimes struggle with the end product. As is, Salt And Rot is a record quite unlike any other, and it hints at so much more. It's rare that you hear a local level band coming out with something like this, that is so singular and powerful, that hints at so much more to come and which reminds us of all of the really weird and fascinating sides that this kind of music can have. Delving into Salt And Rot makes for a unique journey, and a listening experience you won't soon forget.

The sheer torment communicated in a track like "From Hounds To Silent Skies" perfectly encapsulates what God Root have created here. It's vicious and burning, a slow punishing crawl forward as you feel yourself start to go insane under the monolithic weight of the music involved. God Root are not a band to be taken lightly, and as you get lost in their increasingly bizarre soundscapes it becomes clearer that they are going to push it to the limit. This isn't a band who mess around or who have time to fall victim to illusions. Rather they are coming at you at a million miles an hour with something that is  truly intimidating. The issue I think lies more in the production and the way some of the samples are layered in. As much as the ideas are solid, I'm not sure if the flow is always there sonically, and this breaks the immersion, which, in this kind of record, is key. God Root are an almost terrifying band, especially when you realize how close they are to being gods among men.

I so badly want to get lost in Salt And Rot, and when this record truly shines, I do. I find myself navigating strange sonic highways and delving into worlds of harsh noise that many would shy away from. To be totally clear, this isn't doom for the metal novice, this is the sort of super angular, hidden away stuff that you can't help but to love if you have spent years plumbing the depths of the Roadburn lineup looking for that next great band. God Root are the sort of group who play right into those tropes with sounds that expand your mind and make you reevaluate all that doom metal can be. While they certainly are still expanding I also gotta say: few young doom bands have as much promise as these guys, simply because few young doom bands are this willing to push the envelope. So turn on, tune in, and drop out.

Score: 7/10

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