I’m writing this review after attending a brewfest where I think I downed about 10-15 different brews. I’m in the perfect state of mind for stoner rock. I might not have the same type of altered state of consciousness, but I don’t really think how you get there is the point of the music, what matters is that you are there are you can see and feel the music differently from when you’re 100% sober. I’m still a newborn when it comes this kind of music, even though I feel like I understand the underlying meaning of the music and the movement, I still am not quite up to date on the current heavy hitters you might say. I love Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Orange Goblin, but who doesn’t? I’m working my way into the underground of the scene. My journey has been a colorful one thus far, I can say that with a smile. Stoner music is a genre set apart from anything because of the feeling that it gives the listener. Each album I’ve listened to has been able to send me off into one of two places: the wasteland, or the expanse. Each place is a place of discovery and bewilderment, but each place has its own set of rules and expectations. Each place as a set of sound that makes it completely unique (if the artist is any good of course). King Swan, who hail from the great white north, came out with an album last year called Rituals of Fire that is an absolute must for anyone searching for a trip through the expanse.
Even though I’m new to the genre, I know what’s good when I hear it. In my altered state of consciousness, I can feel the story taking off much more around me. I can feel the music of King Swan take flight into a wild expanse. If I had to compare it to any music I’ve heard before, I would have to call them a much heavier and updated version of the Eagles, whose psychedelic swaying music made me forget how long the car rides of my youth were. King Swan is the version of the Eagles that I need. I loved the Eagles, and still do, but I feel like I need a different version to relate to. King Swan and Rituals of Fire is what I needed. I can feel this music. I can feel the bass, the riff, the rhythmic boom of the drums. It’s melodic and headbang worthy but because this is me, you know I need more than just that. That’s why I like King Swan, it’s more than just thoughtless headbanging. Even as I listen half-drunk now I can feel the story around me.
Each psychonaut will find something different on their journey, and my journey will be different from yours but the point of the journey will be the same, to cleanse what we don’t need for our minds with fire. The chant of “Disconnect” resonates well with me. I need to disconnect from the hell that surrounds me and allow myself to float in the emptiness. King Swan is a rollicking good time that makes the listener think. It’s not ultra-heavy and slow, it’s just enough of each to catch the attention of a passerby and entice them. Rituals of Fire is an album that everyone needs to listen to at least once because it can open so many doors. Retroactively, I’ll say this was the best stoner rock album of 2016. The lads of King Swan have a damn good future ahead of them. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for their next venture into the expanse.
Highlights: Disconnect, Rituals of Fire, Wicked Witch
If you enjoyed this try: Woodhawk, Vokanis, Doctor Smoke
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