Acid King - Middle Of Nowhere Center Of Everything
Doom legends return to sonically remove your brain and turn your organs to putrid sludge
Well, finally the San Francisco doom legends return with their first full length album in exactly ten years. Their last album was released in 2005 entitled Three which was another slab of awesome Doom by these guys. All their fans will know their story on how they got their name. If you don’t know it’s from the book Say you Love Satan which is about a chap called Ricky Kassa who was labelled the Acid King for the obvious reason. The band formed under that banner in 1993 and this is their fourth full length release. The three piece band is led by the ever present Lori S on guitar with Joey Osbourne on drums and Mark Lamb on bass. They have always produced quality sludgy doom inspired by Lori’s drive and commitment to the genre. Is this album worth a ten year wait? Let us see.
The album kicks off with a track called Intro, that’s exactly what it is, an introduction by an instrumental track to align your senses ready for the doom-fest to follow. Next up is Silent Pictures which starts quietly, then thud! Trademark Acid King riff’s grind in which sent tingles down my spine. Following this Lori’s haunting guitar and vocals slowly swoon over the track while the rest of the band slug it out in the background, which makes this track heavy as fuck. Great beginning, will it continue?
Coming Down from Outer Space and Laser Headlights, the first of these two tracks starts off with awesome fuzzy riffs which continue right through track. This makes me think, why is Lori S not up there with the guitar gods of this world. This statement becomes more relevant as the music on the album progresses. Truly mind blowing! The following track catapults you into doom heaven, deep throated riffs and drums send your heartbeat out of sync and your organs start the process of turning to sludge. This then leads to the track building up to a grinding doom assault leaving you near enough dead and buried.
Red River is another doom classic but the best is still to come. The following two tracks are in my opinion the best the group have produced in years. Infinite Skies clocks in at seven and half minutes long, Lori’s vocals are even more haunting with the band grinding it out so deep you would think you are at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Totally vibrated the room to bits this did. Lori produces a solo at the end which is out of this world. Played so smooth and with so much emotion it brought tears to my eyes. As I mentioned earlier, guitar god she is.
Center of Everywhere follows, can it compete? Oh yes it can and some. This is like you are on a journey to the center of the earth, passing the demons on the way down to the devil’s layer. The track has a chilled spooky feeling, everything is toned down from the vocals to the instruments which drags you into the journey. But as they near the devil layer the riffs grind deeper and deeper leaving you gasping for air as your body finally gives up and your are puddle of putrid sludge spreading over the floor. Outro now ends the album. It says goodbye. Your funeral music, as you are not of this world anymore.
Has this album be worth the ten year wait, one word definitely. Some people may think that doom is just tuned down guitars with rubbish vocals. Bollocks I say. I would like to see some of those bands on Kerrang and Scuzz channels play this music. The musicianship, vocals and song structures on this album are second to none. They blew my mind. If you like your doom on the Sunday chilled side this is for you. If you like Jex Thoth, Murkat, Windhand, etc this is for you. Now I must go and but myself back together ready for another listen.
Words: Brian 'Baldie' Mclean Twitter: @mclean428