Maegashira - _The Stark Arctic_
(Spare Change, 2009)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7 out of 10)
According to the Pixies, there are ten thousand pounds of sludge off the coast of Jersey, and the Garden State's own Maegashira are here to celebrate the state toxin with a namesake species of Southern doom, more Eyehategod than Cathedral, also evoking Sabbath lineage stoner rock in its various, smoked out permutations. To some extent it seems Maegashira haven't entirely figured out what masks to wear, the only song on _The Stark Arctic_ not coming off as a melange of semi-related song fragments being "Ongoing Corneal Erosion", more or less an extended intro.

It's all pretty well done, but for every segment that seems to evolve logically there are several others that break off suddenly, moving into something else, as if the band grew collectively impatient with the current direction and in some sort of synchronous hive mind fashion decided to jump into the next part of the program ahead of schedule. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if _The Stark Arctic_ was more experimental than it is, but at heart the band are a traditional Dixie fried sludge band from the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line in an era when ponderous, long form acid doom jams are all the rage. On the right track, for the most part, but not quite there, and the compelling art work, promising a cold, blighted blackened doom effort dripping with elemental evil, doesn't quite gel with the sophomoric "fuck you and your scene" lyrics of something like "Hi From Jersey".


(article published 31/1/2009)

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