This is the second album from Norwegian heavyweight stoner
merchants El Caco, who have made us wait
two years since their highly praised debut before releasing this gem of an
album, which was produced by the much respected Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah,
‘Christ this is incredibly heavy’ is the first thought that goes through your head as the bluesy sludgefest of thick heavy grooves and reverberating riffs threaten to crush anything that is daft enough to resist. Then the richness of the melody becomes apparent and you marvel at how they have managed to master and balance the two so effectively. But that not the end of it because they only go and mix it into a groove so thick and alluring is shouldn’t be allowed. Then you remember there are only three of them. Christ!
There’s the obvious reminder of Black Sabbath that live in the fat fuzzy sound of this sludgy stoner rock, particularly in “Please Be Sad” which reeks of Kyuss - who are also a constant reference - and throughout the album there are echoes of Soundgarden and Monster Magnet, with “Blind No More” being a good example. With the Tool-esque sound of “Mrs. Coma”, the fabulous melodic chorus of “The Small Hours” and the hugely downtuned "Suffocate" there are enough big booming riffs to even please the spirit of Johnny Morrow.
Overall, this recording features some excellently sung vocals and impressively professional playing. If there is a criticism, then maybe it requires a little more variety to widen the appeal still further, but it would only be a minor improvement to what is a good album. The combination of heavy, melodic grooves and big sound production makes this something worth going out and finding - even if this isn’t your usual favoured genre - because the quality will cut through any doubts before you have time to think about them.
Rigsby (18th July, 2003)