The Re-Stoned - "Revealed Gravitation"
(RAIG, 2010, R055)
From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)
As their name would suggest, The Re-Stoned are a stoner rock power trio, based in Moscow, and signed to that city's RAIG (Russian Association Of Independent Genres) label. Following the 2009 CD-R release of a four track EP entitled "The Return of the Reptiles", "Revealed Gravitation" is the band's first complete album. An all-instrumental affair, The Re-Stoned rely on solid riffing and enormous guitars to create a sound that is clearly indebted to the heavy end of 1970's classic hard rock. In the absence of vocals and lyrics, what makes "Revealed Gravitation" stand out from the pack is the band's use of strong melodies; most of these tracks are careful and deliberate compositions, rather than tedious single chord jams. Additionally, the majority of these tracks are comparatively short, with an average length of about five minutes, with each featuring a range of moods, although the heavy guitars are never more than a few inches beneath the surface.
Opening number "Gravitation" opens with sample deep space transmissions over whining feedback which then transform into a tricky but solid hard rock riff, calling to mind the mathrock of Tool, before being swallowed up by grinding Sabbath-style sludge rock. "The Mountain Giant" moves along at a quicker pace with more of a jam feel, breaking down to a really dirty (in a good way) wah-wah passage. At just over seven minutes, "Space" includes more impressive guitar and bass riffing, and alternates loud passages with quieter moments, giving guitarist Ilya Lipkin the chance to test-drive his rack of effects pedals. Meanwhile "Green Triangles" and "Moriarty's Blues" give Vladimir Nikulin a chance to show off his not-inconsiderable five-string bass chops. The latter track also features guest keyboards from Pavel Panfilov, who drenches what is basically a 12 bar blues jam with a healthy dose of Hammond organ. "Eternal Search" (a definite highlight, and one of the most haunting and melodic tracks on the album), parts of "Bells", and closing track "Sleeping World" show that the band know when to pull back and let the notes breathe a little. "Orient of Doom" serves up pretty much what the title promises without falling in to the "token Eastern track" cliché.
In "Captured Rotation" The Re-Stoned have delivered up an excellent slice of heavy and multi-textured guitar rock that will certainly appeal to devotees of bands like Causa Sui, Colour Haze and Nebula. Despite a rotation on the drum stool (Andrei Pankratov, who played on this album, has since been replaced by sticksman Vladimir Muchnov) they are already at work on a follow-up, entitled "Analogue", which is due out later in 2011.
Check out the band's web-page at http://www.myspace.com/restoned
For the RAIG label website, see http://www.raig.ru
Reviewed by Pat Albertson