"Dust Devil"

By Earthdog

Get out those old bell-bottoms now - Heavy, bluesy, sludgy, psychedelic and all so very 1973, this describes the Lonely Kamel 'Dust Devil' album. It is rare when you hear a band that is such a mish-mash of different influences. This band from Norway has traces of everything from Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Mountain, Led Zeppelin to Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet, Pentagram and a hell of a lot more and they do it well.

So well and authentic in their approach, you can quite easily forget who in the hell are you listening to while you are spinning this disc. I think Lonely Kamel's music can be best described as bluesy 70's proto-metal with hints of modern sludge. It is really hard to pin a tag on this band exactly as they crossover all these styles and more in an album that is jam-packed full of grooves. Admittedly most of this is damn predictable but it is never boring. They make for the lack of originality by just writing really good songs and by mixing up the tempo and feels of each track.

On the one hand, you have stoner, fuzzy, mid-tempo burners such as 'Evil Man', 'Rotten Seed' and 'Roadtrip With Lucifer' and these three tunes are exciting, driving tunes full of hooks, and Hendrix inspired psychedelic leads. These tracks are real stompers that should please all the stoner-rock connoisseurs out there but they have other tricks up their collective sleeves.

'The Prophet' and 'Grim Reefer' are heavy, sludgy yet bluesy rockers while they come off like a progressive rock version of Led Zeppelin on another tune titled 'Seventh Son' which is probably the track that comes the closet to being a doom tune, it is doom in mood at least. 'Hard To Please' sounds like it came straight out of the late 60's British blues scene: think Hendrix, Cream et cetera and it has some vintage and very fine, classy guitar work. Vocalist Thomas Brenna has a great voice for this kind of stuff, melodic and dripping with emotion.

'Ragnarokr' is pure Pentagram doomy material and is not exactly a rip-off but not exactly original either. I hate to be sitting on the fence with that but that sums up this entire album really. 'Blues For The Dead' blends heavy blues with some faster sabbathian moments and is another highlight. The album closing 'Whorehouse Groove' is also a tasty number but you may feel like the album is stuck on repeat by this point and that is my main complaint with this release. It hits you between the eyes at first; the first half of the album is almost perfect with a good selection of fuzz- laden stoner-rock, and sludgy blues. As the album moves on, that intensity falls away and it starts to sound a bit samey without the variety that is showcased during the first half of the album. It is also that kind of record, that while good at what it is, it doesn't have anything likely to stand the test of time. One thing is certain though, you won't be able to stay still while listening to this, it moves and grooves and has plenty of headbanging moments. It also has some really thick and sludgy riffing in places so it is not a 100% throwback to the 70's. Most stoner rockers should find this a entertaining and catchy album.....7.5/10.