Abdullah - _Graveyard Poetry_
(Meteor City, 2002)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Over the past year, stoner rock label Meteor City has released a considerable number of high quality releases, far more then most labels. But Abdullah's sophomore effort may very well top everything else that they have released this year. Despite an album title that sounds like the morbid infantile musings of a teenage goth, Abdullah are in no way connected to this genre, instead taking their cue from the rock of yesteryear to compose a varied album that unlike many stoner rock CDs consists of more then recycled Black Sabbath riffs. Of course there is a Black Sabbath influence -- it's impossible to find a stoner rock album which has not been touched by these heavy metal grandmasters -- but my use of word influence is meant to mean exactly that and not as a euphemism for blatant mimicry. A fair number of songs contain strong overtones of NWOBHM bands such as Diamond Head, while the heavy final track takes it's cue from punk (the real stuff, not the power pop nonsense that passes for punk nowadays) and is a fitting closer for an otherwise largely subdued album. But despite these varied influences, it is a testament to their song writing skills that none of these songs sound out of place, complementing each other to produce an excellent and cohesive album. The lyrics are intelligent and introspective with a philosophical bent, containing more then just a hint of paranoia. Vocals are superbly handled by Jeff Shirilla who has emerged as one of stoner rocks best vocalists. His vocals are eerily detached, producing a coldness in an otherwise warm and inviting album. In short, this is an outstanding album with no major flaws and a few inconsequential minor flaws, resulting in the genre's best offering of 2002 and one of the best albums overall of 2002.
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