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BLACK MOTH - Anatomical Venus

Release date Feb 23/18 (Candlelight)

There's a lot to like about this fourth full-length from U.K.'s Black Moth. Some of the riffs loom large, as is a necessity in the doom genre, the production job allows for instrument differentiation, and vocalist Harriet Bevan is an engaging voice at the mic. Opener 'Istra' is a perfect example of when the band plays to their aforementioned strengths, while the follow-up 'Moonbow' also proves to be an effective, smooth riffer, with a cool tempo change and lead guitar solo mid-section. However, 'Sisters Of The Stone' and 'A Lover's Hate' are no doubt the highlight tracks, riding heavy-as-lead riffs to maximum effect.

Unfortunately, the overall vibe of the record is just a tad too laid back, the lack of urgency affecting its impact on the listener. There are 5 tracks that focus more on an introspective or psychedelic groove, instead of a crushing riff, bringing down the package. Maybe it's just me and my preference for arcane doom outshining the more sedate stoner version of the genre. Give me the oaken lead weight of Witchfinder General over the generally more introspective and groove-laden Kyuss or Sleep anytime.

In conclusion, Anatomical Venus is a fine record whose value depends on how you feel about the stoner metal genre. Add one full point if you are one of the reefer-headed fans of same.

[7]

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