Pombagira
Maleficia Lamiah

The UK’s husband and wife doom team return with their fifth album of big amps and bigger riffs. Carolyn and Pete have taken their wall of amps and brilliantly fuzzed out tone to a new level on Maleficia Lamiah and produced their finest album yet. The two tracks on offer dump a load of classic 60’s psych in with Pombagira’s established stoner doom nod, warping from big burly doom riffs to quiet passages and back again.

Maleficia Lamiah owes as much to Pink Floyd’s psychedelic implosions as it does to Sleep’s wall of fuzz and stoned repetitions. Guitarist/vocalist Pete ____ has spent many years and a small fortune cultivating a collection of amps to develop his guitar tone and it shows. The tone is big and lush, like amplified moss pulsing with a lively thrum, and is carried by Carolyn’s Hakius-like tumbling rhythms. The depth of sound they achieve with two instruments is remarkable, as the duo move from the crush of lumbering doom to paint tripped out water colored canvasses.

“Maleficia Lamiah” starts, like their other releases, firmly fixed in the stoner doom tradition of Dopesmoker-era Sleep. Pete’s vocals are smoothed out a bit, as he moves away from the hoarse groan to something more rock inspired. It’s not long though before the band takes an extended psych bath in the murky LSD tainted waters of Pink Floyd and the 13th Floor Elevators characterized by reverberating tones, quiet drums, and soft vocals. They eventually build it back up, cranking the amp buzz and distortion to build layers of sound to carry the song out on a cascading melody buried in a wooly riff. “Grave Cardinal” similarly spends the middle third of its 22 minutes in mellow psych territory, adding in some organ while exploring the umbra connecting Om and “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”.

All told, this is an excellent new release and a definite step forward for this band. With doom becoming more and more saturated by the day, Pombagira have really started to define themselves among the cadre of Sleep/Electric Wizard/Sabbath soundalikes. Maleficia Lamiah is an excellent album, heavy and with a ton of depth, that will no doubt appear on the year end lists of many doom fans.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
April 11th, 2013

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