One of the added perks of typing up a new review is rediscovering a band you dug but one that might not necessarily be in the forefront of your current regular rotation. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Miss Lava’s Sonic Debris (Holy shit, has it really been almost five years since that dropped???) but know I definitely haven’t paid as much attention as it deserves in recent months. That said, the Lisbon quartet is back with a bold new album that’s every bit as fueled by the RAWK as Sonic Debris is.
“Fourth Dimension” is the perfect reintroduction into the world of Miss Lava with odes to the best bits of early Queens Of The Stone Age (That sweet spot between the rawness of their first and slick production of their third) with vocalist Johnny Lee’s Bluesy pipes setting the outfit apart from other contemporaries as K. Raffah’s intricate riffage builds a sonic wall that grows and grows throughout Doom Machine.
“In The Mire” is urgent with an inherent buzz that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats broken up by tender pluckings from Raffah before a bass drone from Ricardo Ferreira pairs with J. Garcia’s drums to form a ferocious rhythmic force. Instrumental interlude “Magma” practically howls to the Prog gods and gives off a slight Mastodon-esque scent before ringing the Vista Chino doorbell on “Brotherhood Of Eternal Love” which effortlessly merges Desert Rawk and Psychedelia with Lee’s vocals in particular here ascending into the ether and keeping the song up in the stars.
“Sleepy Warm” is a riff-centric banger from start to finish showing off Miss Lava’s particularly potent rhythm section and shred machine Raffah while “The Great Divide” is a massive anthem showcasing Lee’s serenely soaring vocals, Garcia’s rumbling drumming, and Raffah’s guitar pangs which perfectly echo off Ferreira’s bass reverberations.
Also, in the age of short attention spans can we call, ahem, attention to the fact that Doom Machine manages to enthrall with a full-length that’s 12 tracks (15 if yer counting the 3 bonus tracks on the digital and CD release)? It’s refreshing!
But I digress.
“Karma” breaks up the onslaught slightly with another instrumental (Followed later by “Alpha” and “Terra”) that serves as a palette cleanser before “The Fall” takes listeners on an aural adventure filled with sweeping Lee vocals and a warm, fuzzy hypnotic blanket produced by Raffah’s guitar work. The title track which closes out our regularly scheduled program is, to put it bluntly, friggin’ epic as it ebbs and flows through huge tonal shifts, traversing the Rawk landscape and being all righteously raucous one moment before heading to a lethargically laid back finale.
As for the bonus bits, they’re tops as well and the cherry on top of a sonic sundae filled with all your favorite auditory delights. “God Feeds The Swine” is big and bulky with a bit of boogie woogie goodness thrown in, “Feel Surreal” bludgeons for a solid four and a half minutes and finally, “Red Atlantis” solidifies any doubt listeners may have that they are indeed listening to the next godfathers-in-the-making of Desert Rawk. In conclusion, all hail Miss Lava!
Doom Machine arrives on January 15th through Small Stone Recordings. You can pre-order your very own right now by heading here. For the latest on Miss Lava, follow them across their pages of media that require you to be social by clicking here, here, or here.