Karma To Burn - V

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Just a year after comeback album Appalachian Incantation and the heavy touring which supported it, the historically instrumental stoner rock trio from West Virginia have produced another set of new tracks, with more vocal efforts following their first ever attempts on the last album. Imaginatively titled V (yes, it's their fifth studio album) kicks off on one of the most compelling riffs the band have written since their reunion with 47, but the rest of the typically numbered instrumental tracks are some of their least interesting. Lead guitar is kept to a minimum and there's such little variation in the riffs to make up for it that the songs are rendered little more than boring. And, just as on the reunion album, the strongest moments are vocal tracks The Cynics, Jimmy Dean and Black Sabbath cover Never Say Die, all featuring a return from Year Long Disaster vocalist Daniel Davies. But, given that Year Long Disaster's guitarist is Karma To Burn founder Rich Mullins, too many appearances by Davies just make the songs sound like Year Long Disaster songs, and not particularly good ones at that - the Sabbath cover is better than both the originals. They retained more of their own identity on the last album when they used Kyuss Lives! singer John Garcia for one song. Appalachian Incantation was half-way towards recapturing what they left behind when they split in 2002, but V doesn't get them any closer. There are hints, but no firm steps forwards (backwards?).

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Albums, Instrumental, Quick.Play Reviews, Stoner,

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