|Rifflord — 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation (Nov. 1, 2018)
Rifflord — 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation (Nov. 1, 2018)Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Genre: Heavy Rock/Stoner/Doom
Album release: November 1, 2018
Record Label: STB Records
01. 7 1:52
02. Dead Flower Child 2:51
03. The Other Side 4:07
04. Cyote Fodder 2:46
05. Holly Roller 4:29
06. BB Gun 2:16
07. Trancendental Medication 3:47
08. Lucid Trip 1:06
09. Poison Mother 2:30
10. Electric Grave 3:21
11. The Riffman Cometh 3:39
12. Hou Dou Vou Dou 3:38
13. Thunder Rider Cremation Ground Meditation 4:12
For Fans Of:
✹ Pet The Preacher, The Midnight Ghost Train, Powder For Pigeons
• Paul Pinos — Guitar
• Wyatt Bronc Bartlett — Lead Guitar and Vocals
• Matthew Mcfarland — Bass (Ampeg Thunder)
• Jean Stoddard — Keyboards
• Tommy Middlen — Drums
Review, JJ Koczan
✹ Playing before a monolithic wall of citrus~hued amps and cabinets, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, five~piece Rifflord give a taste of their tonal~orship vibes and catchy songcraft in their new video for “The Other Side,” an early cut from their forthcoming second album, 7 Cremation Chant / Meditation, which is no less at home tapping into David Eugene Edwards~style Americana than it is digging into High on Fire gallop or Electric Wizard riffing with Fu Manchu~esque vocals. By the time “Seven” has made its way into “Dead Flower Child” — note the veer into Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom” in the latter — and “The Other Side” itself, there’s no question why STB Records would pick them up for the vinyl. Shit, somebody was bound to do it.
✹ Rifflord work quickly across the album, almost deceptively so. To wit, “The Other Side” is one of only three out of the total 13 tracks to top four minutes in runtime, and other pieces like the 2:16 “BB Gun” is a sharp boogie that takes the murderousness out of underlying prairie feel, while “Lucid Trip” brings together acoustic guitar and underlying keyboard/voice drones that lead into the charging second half of the album with the immediacy of “Poison Mother,” a vocal change bringing keyboardist Tory Jean Stoddard into the foreground with guitarist Wyatt Bronc Bartlett stepping back after the more aggro chug of album centerpiece “Transcendental Medication.” Momentum is swiftly built and rigorously maintained throughout, but the songs themselves don’t feel rushed in either their composition or delivery.
✹ The keys help flesh out the melodic presence of the vocals and Bartlett and Paul Pinos‘ guitars, while bassist Matthew Mcfarland and drummer Tommy Middlen carry through the molasses~thick tones with a sense of movement that continues even into the lumbering “Electric Grave” — as opposed to, yes, an “Electric Funeral” — or the aptly~named “The Riffman Cometh,” which is a cold~ending celebration of all things heavy rock, doom and otherwise Iommic.
✹ The blend of Western and heavy principles on “Dead Flower Child” or “Coyote Fodder” and “Holy Roller” early on adds depth to the personality of 7 Cremation Chant / Meditation — the number in the title is still something of a mystery and I suspect that’s intentional — and as the closing pair of “Hou Dou Vou Dou” and “Thunder Rider” present the record’s most fervent boogie and a corresponding shove to respond to that of “Transcendental Medication” earlier, the variety in Rifflord‘s songwriting would seem to undercut their moniker. That is, they’re by no means simply a “riff band.” Certainly riffs are a factor, but the roles they play throughout the material run in different if still cohesive directions, and the organ and other key sounds throughout come off as no less of a focus. ‘Keylord’ or ‘Choruslord’ wouldn’t necessarily make for a great band name, but the point is don’t go into “The Other Side” thinking it’s just about the riffs, because there’s a lot more to Rifflord, and a lot more to 7 Cremation Chant / Meditation, than might at first be implied.
✹ One of the most exciting things that we are starting to see in the world of stoner rock is a shift away from boring songs that drag on for way too long and instead an acceptance of pure roc and roll magic with shorter things and tighter riffs. Such his the magic of Rifflord with their first record in eight years, 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation. A band who certainly seem to worship the riff, this is an exciting blend of hard rock stylings into something that is refreshingly direct and wonderfully nostalgic whilst maintain a modern approach.
✹ I think what I enjoy about Rifflord isn’t jsut their willingness to embrace standard rock and roll tropes, but moreover their ability to push it over the top. The massive chorus on a track like Hou Dou Vou Dou is really fun to listen to and the cry of “Old fashioned black magic!” kind of captures the ethos of the entire record. Tied into this is the simple fact that Rifflord straight up love black Sabbath. They quote the band in their lyrics, they even sample interview clips. It is a really fun little set of throwbacks they’ve worked in here in a surprisingly tasteful way which makes for some really compelling listen that is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.
✹ With this albums thirteen tracks only two trickle over the four minute mark. Think about that. That’s a really big deal in a scene that is often plagued by tracks that simply will not end. Rifflord know what they want to say and say it consicely, stomping you in the teeth for good measure. Sure their music may be referential and silly at times, but by god if it isn’t great. It’s able to pull from a diverse set of influences to ensure that 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation straight up rocks, no ifs, ands or buts about it. ✹ http://www.twoguysmetalreviews.com/
|Rifflord — 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation (Nov. 1, 2018)