In case you missed it, back on May 31st we caught Night One of Chicago’s Doomed and Stoned Festival in the South Loop neighborhood which featured a variety of phenomenal bands. This was definitely a night for Heavy Stoner Metal and so much fog from the fog machines you felt like you were at a Cypress Hill concert.
Opening the night was Uncouth, who has a very heavy groove oriented styling to their sound. The singer, Skitz M. Jones, is emotionally expressive and soulful with his vocal abilities. He carried through the whole set perfectly. He also had really cool looking pants.
The second band was one of my particular favorites in Chicago’s Doom metal scene, Starless. This band has a knack for carrying such a powerful wall of sound from start to finish. For me it’s like the soundtrack of witnessing the battle of giant sea monsters. They played a newer song that I really wish I knew the name of but as I recall it definitely had a strong Shoegaze influence behind it. They will be working on new material for their sophomore release in the near future and I’m definitely stoked for that.
Third was High Priest. This was the first time I’ve seen them. I was really impressed with their guitar tones. They were rather sonic and fuzzy like more Rock ‘N’ Roll than that of typical Heavy Doom Metal sounds. I liked how soulful their vocalist projected over the crushing groovy hooks. Their newest EP release Sanctum is phenomenal and Highly Recommended.
Cleveland, Ohio’s Frayle, another band who I had not seen before, came up next in full force. They were significantly slower and darker than the others on the evening’s bill. Most notable was singer Gwyn Strang’s haunting vocals. This was really complementary to the atmospheric delivery of their dark pummeling sound. Her crown of thorns that she wore upon her head is what really caught my attention at first. Very Witchy. Their set was really good.
Next was Forming the Void which took a turn for a more progressive rock performance. These guys definitely sound like a band to compliment the sound of the headliner. They’re classic Stoner Doom Metal with epic vocals carried over fat guitar tones and pounding drums. It’s actually very melodic and pretty. This was another great band that I’ve been exposed to for the very first time.
Closing the night was sludge metal geniuses, Torche. This Miami band can do no wrong in my eyes. They make records that evolve from amazing to holy fucking shit!!! They made something even better! This was definitely a good set that reflected a glimpse into what we will be anticipating with the release of their newest album, Admission on Relapse Records.
I had a brief chat with drummer Rick Smith and he had mentioned that many of the songs on this record were written with Jonathan Nuñez on guitar. Nuñez has been the bassist of the band since as far back as I remember when they started. This switch position was definitely a solid move at that; this album fucking crushes.
On another note, Torche is currently on tour supporting Baroness which we will most definitely have further coverage to share in the near future. In the mean time check out the photos from the show below and check back for further updates on these bands and so much more.