Karma To Burn

Appalachian Incantation

Written by: PP on 06/05/2010 14:07:38

Karma To Burn are an all-instrumental stoner rock / desert rock outfit from West Virginia. They were a force to be reckoned with mostly in the late 90s, where Roadrunner Records offered to release their debut album if they hired a singer, but the band at first refused because they firmly believed that "the true power was in the instrument, the extension of the body, free of eviscerated flesh and mind", but when Roadrunner kept piling cash on the table, the band had no choice but to ignore their principles and agree. The vocalist lasted only for an album before he was dropped, though, and the next two albums were all-instrumental, before the band broke up in 2002 due to internal differences. They reunited last year and did a little touring, re-discovered the spark between each other, and here we are, with "Appalachian Incantation", their fourth studio album overall.

The record continues more or less exactly where Karma To Burn left off, containing all-instrumental, catchy, driving, groovy stoner rock riffs, which make you understand why the band feels like no vocalist is necessary to their music. Much like Pelican and especially Scale The Summit, the guitars take such a good care of the listener that there are very few moments where you'll even notice that the singer is missing, mostly because they are so tight and well-played all around. In fact, the two songs that do include a singer, "Waiting On The Western World" and "Two Times" (the rest are just titled as numbers like "44", "42" etc), are my least favorite on the track precisely because the vocals take your attention away from the awesome guitar playing. Which is all the more surprising, because you wouldn't expect instrumental stoner rock to be particularly interesting to start out with.

Depending on your view of stoner rock, you'll either find "Appalachian Incantation" fantastic or incredibly boring. If you do happen to like Scale The Summit and wished they had a little more of a Kyuss sound to their instruments, then this record is definitely for you. But if for the love of god you can't understand why bands would choose to not include a vocalist, it's unlikely that "Appalachian Incantation" will change your mind. Pick your side.


Download: 44, 43
For the fans of: Scale The Summit, Kyuss, Pelican
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.04.2010
Napalm Records

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