Naked Star
Bloodmoon Prophecy EP

Multi-instrumentalist hero Tim Schmidt from godly old school doom/classic metallurgists Seamount returns with his latest project Naked Star; a gritty, riff-spitting monstrosity with dirty demonic grooves, the Marlboro burnt vocals of Jim Grant and a generally roughhewn yet melodic pummel that would have been right at home on the supreme doom label Hellhound back in the ’90s.  The band’s three song EP Bloodmoon Prophecy was bred in fire and born to beat ass with riffs so tough they could beat God up, aggressive n’ rugged rhythms and tightly bolted songwriting that leaves no room for air or fluff to infiltrate the mix.

“Follow the Iron Cross” storms into existence with a thundercrack and a bloody lip bruiser of a scumbucket doom-fuzz riff buttressed by a gonzo drum presence from Schmidt who trades pocket time-keeping and atomic snare rolls in equal measure.  The riff avoids repetitive drone for caustic forward motion with subtle harmonized notes yielding melody in a burning field of smoky, smoldering power chord blues that are relentlessly sludgy.  Seamount fans should be more than pleased but there’s a filthier, brawnier edge here…that rumbling, earth-cracking muscle of Earthride, Turambar, Purple Hill Witch, Goatsnake, Black Wasteland, Black Sabbath, The Obsessed, Iron Man, Count Raven, Leather Nun and even Mountain, Motörhead or Blue Cheer in terms of that classic LOUD 70s sound is certainly present.  Jim’s vocals are dusky and lungburnt throughout while never resorting to all out screaming.  He’s got a sledgehammering heft to the way his blues-drowned melodies play out with some admirable higher range slipping into his delivery from time to time.  Though the term “biker doom” can be something of a cheesy labelling, it fits here because an occult, apocalyptic biker gang happens to be a large theme of the lyrical content here…and oh yeah, this fuckin’ beast was actually recorded in one night under a bloodmoon, so how about that for some authentic inspiration?  The thing is that with Naked Star there’s not one bit of fuckin’ cheddar to be found here.  These songs are well-written and mean as fuckin’ hell with no filler riffs, lackluster melodies or half-assed ideas to be found.

The in-the-red, over-distorted riff kicking off “Bury me a Demon” has a ragged, proto punk/doom vibe right from the get go as its toxic, life-ending exhaust tears rubber and ass at a swinging, agile pace.  Those Sumo fat riffs open up into killer open chords dripping with that honey sweet Maryland melody, especially as the groove bridges its way into a catchier than the clap chorus with Jim hitting the hook right between the eyes.  The transitions between dominating doom density and soaring spread wing 70s inflections craft a Jekyll and Hyde monster of damnation and salvation.  Fuzzed-out, noisy leads receive cryptic support from gothic slasher flick keyboards (buried deep in the background) and the end result is a Hells Angels’ heretic anthem.  Side B of this upcoming vinyl is solely occupied by the 10+ minute title-track and goddamn this thing brings the band’s massive weight to the forefront.  Slow building n’ burning atmospheric riffs are as heavy as anything out there especially while being beaten into a million tiny pieces by a reckless drum performance overflowing with jarring, tidal snare fills that constantly enforce divine pain and punishment.  The vocals keep their melodic cool intact for delectable harmonic juxtaposition with Tim drawing out pained noisy guitar licks, a never-ending acid rain of anvil-tempered blues doom riffs and a sharp, to die for change in the groove at the 4 minute mark that’s the stuff of legend…classic Britain and Maryland to the core.  A king crowned fuzz solo procession drags this tune to an endnote so vintage it completely pisses all over the wannabe retro stuff out there that would rather flirt with mainstream acceptance than actually deliver the heavy, golden riffed musical goods.

Goddamn man, I’m hoping to acquire some money I can actually spend in my current dark ages here because I absolutely have got to score a copy of Bloodmoon Prophecy during its limited vinyl pressings.  Naked Star is old school doom devoid of clichés and by numbers songwriting.  The three tunes contained here are as easily good (and certainly better) than a lot of like-minded bands’ entire albums and the chemistry between these two fellas is second to none; killer writing, powerhouse drumming, great vocals and riffs that’d kill you flat if you’d even dare to fuck with ‘em…what more can a doom diehard ask for?  Highly recommended right alongside Hollow Leg’s recent Crown and Horehound’s Self-Titled masterpieces for riff after riff of nothing but the good stuff…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
May 25th, 2016

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