Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Beelzefuzz - The Righteous Bloom (2016)

If you're looking for a sound that brings to mind acts like Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Deep Purple, you'll definitely find it here in the sophomore record from this Maryland based blast from the past. The first thing I want to stress is that the record actually has a pretty clean production value despite the obvious “fuzz” (see there, I made a pun) but it doesn't take away from the value of the work as a whole. Just from the album's opener “Nazriff” I'm already well-aware of what to expect and wouldn't wish for anything else. When the thicker “The Soulless” comes immediately after, I'm still getting a very jammy, groovy, proggy feel and it's not one I'd turn down with a good joint (if I had one) as the band's sound in style definitely falls under a bit of a stoner category for me. But that's okay, because they're doing a very commendable job here and even dish out some rather well-meant guitar solos in addition to the glassy clean vocals and mounds of bass fuzz. I'm currently listening to the album at a volume level of 78 and can't really hear the fuzz as much as I can the cleaner sections, but this could be due to my tuning or some other factor. I can't say for certain that the same could be said for your listening device or preference. In any case, the quartet have certainly focused quite a bit on the vocal elements as they are undoubtedly raised highest in the mix and are heard far before everything else. I don't know how many will sit with this, but it certainly can be said that their frontman has a rather passionate and classically trained approach that makes his lines come off in a pleasing manner. Not all of the songs here carry a pleasant tune however, with some pretty dark nodes coming in around tracks like the doomy title track and “Sanctum & Solace” which actually brings in some funerary elements in areas. I think this gives the band a bit of well-needed variation, though I'll admit that I'd rather hear a bit more darkness from an act by the name of Beelzefuzz. Even so, there's still enough for fans of doom, stoner and jam rock to really jump into and I'd certainly recommend giving it a listen. Just in my short time with it, I can tell that The Righteous Bloom is a product of hard work and that's what you're getting when you buy the record.

(11 Tracks, 46:00)


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