Trees
Freed of This Flesh EP

Freed of this Flesh, the second EP from Portland, Oregon’s Trees continues the pattern of their first release: Two 13+ minute tracks of crushing, droning doom.  Like contemporaries Habsyll and Otesanek, Trees occupy the outer reaches of doom, where riffs are stretched into the atmosphere and notes into decaying feedback.  It’s not exactly original but what they lack in originality, they make up for in oppressive atmosphere and provide an exemplary the brief run time makes it an approachable listen.

The two tracks offered, “Ashes” and “Hollow”, are similarly constructed exercises in extreme doom and if you’re familiar with the aforementioned bands, or with genre standard-bearer Khanate, then you have an idea of Trees sound.  Feedback drenched, tectonically slow riffs crawl along while the drums clatter and pound with vocals both screamed and guttural.  The minimalist musical approach combined with the suitably grime encrusted production creates a truly suffocating atmosphere.  Like all music of this type, patience is a virtue and those with keen and patient ears will be rewarded by finely tuned riffs and a chronic case of tinnitus.  It’s a blissful listen for all the hashed out extreme doom freaks out there.

Though Trees nail the dark, oppressive atmosphere they come up short in originality.  What’s here is a great representation of the style, there’s just not much here to set them apart from the rest of the drone-doom pack.  They do have an advantage, in that the choice to limit the record to two tracks makes this more approachable for those who are unfamiliar with the style.  Often enough, bands of this style get carried away with the length of their songs and render an already difficult genre unlistenable for all but the most grizzled doom fans.  Trees keep it simple and straightforward and the riffs and songs naturally ebb and flow without becoming self indulgent.

This is an excellent stylistic example of droning doom and worth checking out as long as you don’t expect anything mindblowing.  Well-heeled doom degenerates and genre initiates scared off by intimidating track lengths take note.  Metalheads with no patience or who aren’t terminally stoned fuck off.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
March 8th, 2011

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