Like a comet on its long orbit, well beyond the edge of the solar system, Canadian space cadets Sons of Otis, have settled into a somewhat lengthy (but reliable) timespan of four years between visits to planet Earth, and 2009 sees them returning, right on schedule, with their fifth long-player, Exiled. Unlike prior LPs, however, this one combines newly penned material with a few spare parts, ranging from a pair of tracks transmitted in 2007 for a split-EP with Queen Elephantine, to a tandem of surprising cover versions. Looking at the fresh originals first: Exiled's ten-minute opener, "Haters," won't alter any pre-existing opinions -- positive or negative -- about the trio's hypnotic brand of stoner sludge rock with its exceedingly repetitive doom uniformity; but then, neither will its nearly as long, yet gobsmackingly awesome follow-up, "Lost Soul," featuring ter-riff-ic dynamic gyrations that will undoubtedly start heads a-nodding immediately and enthusiastically. Both of the older originals deliver somewhere in between these qualitative extremes, with the instrumental "Oxazejam" pulsing like a quasar agonizing in its dying spasms, while the much darker and foreboding "Tales of Otis" simply hurls listeners into the eye of the black hole, their very atoms disintegrating as they fall. Finally, both cover versions leave strong impressions -- if only for subjecting Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Bad Man" to the lysergic Otis blueprint, then dragging Motörhead's already slothful (by Motörhead standards, anyway) "Iron Horse" through a swamp of distortion so deep, not even Lemmy would recognize it. The latter eventually gives way to an extended bout of feedback, very aptly named (for many different reasons) "The Horror," and thus concludes this particular Sons of Otis flyby, leaving as many divided opinions as ever, but also plenty of superlative pace sludge for their converts to enjoy. May the Force be with them!
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia