01. Stonehead 02. Liberation 03. Suicidal Hippie 04. Easy Rider 05. Rohypnol 06. Mister Know-How 07. Dead End 08. Made In Iron 09. Gravedance 10. Phobia
Red Planet is the latest from the retro-stoner doom Valhall. I say "latest" because it was recorded way back in the year 2000… and was finally released this year by Phil Anselmo (of Down, Pantera) fame on his Housecore records.
My first impression of this album - both sonically and thematically - was that it reminded me an awful lot of another retro-flavored doom act that recorded songs long ago and finally saw release twenty years later on a split with Natty Ice … Fenriz' Red Planet.
Both are retro-flavored, traditional style stoner doom powered by fuzzed out riffs. Oh, and both feature Fenriz sitting on the Darkthrone (Darkstool?) behind the drum kit.
Fenriz. Check. Martian theme. Check. Retro doom with fuzzed out grooving riffs and all sorts of songs about smoking hippie lettuce? Check. So far, so good.
The band does branch out a tad with the really cool jazzy "Rohypnol" and the NWOBHM flavored "Made In Iron" (even the least astute of you should be able to puzzle that title out), but the vast bulk of this is slow-mo headbanging stoney fun… a good time for the Suicidal Hippie in your life.
And "Suicidal Hippie" probably sums up the biggest drawback to the album. The vast bulk of the vocals are done in the whispering sing-sung style of Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir. While it works in ST as it is offset by some furious tempos and more furious Cyco Miko rants, here it just grows tiresome after a couple tracks.
So some pretty decent jams held back by some increasingly tedious vocals.