Acid King

III

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Observers looking to critique Acid King's slothful work rate -- which has yielded but three full albums and a few singles over an 11-year lifespan -- would do well to consider how befitting it is to their similarly sluggish brand of doom metal. Let's face it, the overarching influence of Black Sabbath isn't going anywhere fast (get it?), and neither is Acid King's fixation with it, obviously, since they'd managed to both predate and outlive the movement's brief, late-'90s moment in the sun by the time of their third album's release, in 2005. No, the special thing about original founding duo Lori S. (guitars/vocals) and Joey Osbourne (drums) -- here joined by veteran bassist Guy Pinhas (of Goatsnake and Obsessed fame) and producer (and San Francisco neighbor) Billy Anderson -- is being perfectly content in the knowledge that their evolutionary growth, in the immortal words of This Is Spinal Tap, can't even be charted. In other words, doom is where they wanna be, as demonstrated by familiar sounding new offerings such as "Into the Ground," the exceedingly obvious "Heavy Load" (yeah, no sh*t!), and the 12-minute, acid-sludge centerpiece "War of the Mind." Solid doom anthems all, they only rarely make way for anything remotely brief (like, say, the uniquely sub-four-minute "Bad Vision") or remotely energetic (like the Harley-lifestyle-praising "2 Wheel Nation"), on their grinding path towards additional standout "Sunshine and Sorrow," which sends us home on a particularly hypnotic swirl of layered guitars. And that's as it should be, really -- at least in the time-warp universe inhabited by Acid King and their willing disciples.

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