Goddess are a Norwegian Stoner band, ‘The Withering’ is a re-release that was originally recorded in the spring of 2014 at a recording school in Oslo, with a slightly shorter version of the song released on the school’s label that year. It is being released in its entirety on guitarist/vocalist Alexander Mora’s label Voidcaller Records; after a little facelift consisting of a new mix and master. It consists of one song that sounds pretty accomplished, standing at 18 minutes.
The album starts with nice slow guitar led build up but doesn’t get ponderous like Yob would (I once went for a cigarette at a gig at the beginning of a Yob track and they hadn’t even started riffing when I got back!). Genre wise; its psychedelic stoner, but ranges through metal and the album even goes a little Jethro Tull with a nice flute section at one stage.
Harmonically this album is really not too complex, but instead relies on good riffs and melodies. This is what you expect from stoner music really- it’s more about the feeling of the music than it’s complexity. There is some great variety of vocals from clean stoner, to shouty/growly, and some harrowing female vocals at the end.
Instrumentally the album has all sorts, such as flute and backing parts from orchestral instruments, and whilst that stops the recording getting dull, (like single track releases do sometimes) it does stop it ever getting as heavy as I might like.
When I think about how this album would sound live, they could play virtually the entire thing as heard on ‘The Withering’, in theory, but you worry about bands using complex instrumentation and not being able to replicate it later in the all important live scenario.
I don’t mind that you have a few listens online before you get asked to buy the album (and another 2 or so before you HAVE to buy it) at all, in fact that’s a good way to do it and it’s so much better than having a pathetic 30 seconds teaser online. However, you do then expect to get a little more with your download than a jpeg of the cover. No lyrics, no acknowledgements- nothing and to look up who mixed it etc, you have to go back to the bandcamp page, but I now of course can’t listen to it off that, even though I bought it. You might say “buy the vinyl then you fool!”, but it seems to me this isn’t available…I have to say in this competitive musical climate, you can normally expect more.
‘The Withering’ is just slightly lacking in the catchy department like Baroness’ Yellow and Green and Trippy wicked (current bench marks in pysch/stoner in my view), but its all about the overall feeling it gives you, and in that respect, the album is a big success. Worth the money, despite the lack of content, and it’s only 3 dollars. Worth the cash, but this release would need to be both more experimental and more catchy in order for me to give it a higher score.