Egypt: it provides the band name, title, and thematic through-thread for (most of) this 2007 cult release, collecting four extended ruminations on the ancient world's greatest civilization. Curiously, the musical backdrop to this obscure group's singular fixation is stoner rock -- and why not? Hieroglyphics suddenly make a whole lotta sense once you're properly (Rosetta) stoned, and, not surprisingly, so do these songs. For much of its duration, "Valley of the Kings" soars majestically, smoothly, psychedelically, above the infinite desert -- like Horus, the hawk-headed god, searching for pharaoh tombs long lost to time and dune; but once zeroed in on its target, the song dive-bombs with pent-up fury, thunderously unleashed through to its conclusion. This general sonic script also holds true for ensuing EP centerpiece, "Queen of All Time (Red Giant)," but Egypt subsequently take a break from all this via the livelier licks and punchier grooves of "Dirty Witch." paying tribute, in the process, to traditional metal fixtures ranging from Black Sabbath to the Obsessed. Finally, the band reverts to hypnotic doom sloth for the closing "Touch the Ground," latching onto a series of mesmerizing, repeating riffs boasting all of the controlled distortion and lead-footed attack of Sleep or Electric Wizard. Musically, Egypt's one-off EP is hardly revolutionary, but it is reliably contagious as stoner/doom material goes, and fittingly, it's as straightforward as the subjects and iconography associated with it -- no wonder enthusiasts of the style continue to evangelize about it.
by Eduardo Rivadavia