Review: Weedeater – Goliathan

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70%
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Satisfying

Whilst not a complete reinvention, Goliathan is nothing short of a beautifully satisfying piece of doom metal loveliness.

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Stoner metal three-piece Weedeater have released their fifth studio album, Goliathan. The band, featuring Dave “Dixie” Collins on vocals and bass guitar, Dave “Shep” Shepherd on guitar and Travis Owen on drums, surfaced from the mud in North Carolina in 1998 as part of a wider sludge-stoner-doom metal revival.

Whilst some bands rose to greatess others floundered with a lack of creativity, simply reproducing their predecessors’ music instead of making their own stamp on the genre. Weedeater was not among this ilk. Their fifth studio album Goliathan pays testament to the band’s decidedly unique style.

Following introductory track ‘Processional’ is a thundering single bearing the same name as the album. ‘Goliathan’ opens with grotesquely distorted bass and guitar that leads into a crunching set of verses perforated by Collins’ obsidian vocals. Once you reach the two minute mark you’ll be suitably prostrate as sickening sinful doom washes over your body. And that’s just the first track of the album!

After ‘Goliathan’ comes the more upbeat and light (as far as doom metal can go) ‘Cain Enabler’ with a characteristically funky main riff that moulds together sludge and drone influences – it holds on just a little too long past the comfort zone but leaves you begging for more of the same.

Fifth track ‘Battered & Fried’ alleviates the crushing doom to bring the listener something very out of place – three minutes of hokey southern banjo playing and croaking vocals. It really feels tacked in, with no clear indication of why it’s there. After the previous tracks it feels less than satisfying.

Sixth track ‘Claw of the Sloth’ brings back the slathering swamp monster with a faster, more erratic riff. Following this is interlude track ‘Bully’, ramping up the tempo to a fevered frenzy that leads you kicking and screaming into ‘Joseph – All Talk’, another sonorous bludgeon to the temple.

The album closes with the heavily bass-driven ‘Benaddiction’. The track harnesses twitchy metallic reverbs to take the listener out of the sludge-laden hole they’ve just left, closing Goliathan on a calmer note than perhaps most fans may expect.

Weedeater as a band has not reinvented itself with this album. But it does represent their current state exquisitely and for the vast majority it’s tight and well-knitted together.

Whilst not extravagant, Goliathan is this much at least: a hulking leviathan crouched in the swamp of modern doom metal, perfectly at home, providing the warm fuzzy comfort of the herb from which the band derives its name.

Goliathan was released on 19th May 2015 via Season of Mist.

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MA English student at the University of Southampton and alternative music correspondent for The Edge.

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