CEMETERY CROWS - WOLVES OF DESIRE (DEMO/EP)
"I recently came into possession of the Demo/EP from Gideon Smith‘s latest musical endeavor Cemetery Crows, Wolves Of Desire (something we discussed in our September Interview here) and feel inclined to tell you about it here. It is a four song foray into some heavily ethereal, psychedelic-centered Doom with many Fuzz Rock elements as well and I am just scratching the surface in that comparison. It is unlike anything Mr. Smith has delved in before..well, not to this degree I should say as Gideon has covered a lot of genre-warping musical ground in his day job within Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned previously. Cemetery Crows is a bit more minimalist at its’ core but that isn’t to say that it is not eclectic in anyway for it truly is such and features an interesting musical diversity taking place upon the four tracks contained here. This band features Gideon on bass and vocals, guitarist Salem, “guest” drummer Saul and together this trio manage to sojourn into some really trippy, heady jam rock that comes across quite dark and utterly foreboding. The songs have a palpable drug-like quality to them, both hallucinatory and addictive at the same time, all of which is only augmented by Gideon’s barely-a-haunting-whisper-at-times-but-nonetheless-menacing vocals. From the Black Sabbathian guitar tones of the title track “Wolves Of Desire” and its’ relentless barrage of drum pummels in to the song “Two Tygers Brightly” which is a more straight-forward Doom song, this material is unique and crushing. “Come Below” comes across as if it had been Deep Purple that had bartered themselves to Lucifer and proclaimed “We Sold Our Souls To Rock And Roll” as Gideon’s from beyond the grave vocals beckon you to come below, come below into the deepest, darkest corner of these Southern mystique sonics. Last song “Laying Down The Hammer” does exactly that, not with any type of WFO attitude but instead with the very essence of Traditional Doom, albeit at a more uptempo pace while the song just infects you from within while administering its decay.
Gideon Smith possesses a Midas Touch when it comes to creating bad-ass audible solid gold and it appears that Cemetery Crows will only further build upon his musical legacy with it’s interesting uniqueness. The project’s style of songs crafted are a gargantuan homage to the more Doom-driven forces at work in the musical realm around us and should instantly appeal to the more open-minded music fans out there as well as any Gideon Smith fans in general (like me). The Wolves Of Desire Demo is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise oft suffocating terrain of same old, same old stagnation and regurgitation." - (Thank you to Pat Riot and Riff Relevant Website, 2017)
(Logo by Riddick)
Cemetery Crows – Wolves of Desire Demo/EP (Hanuman Records)
By Jay Snyder September 28, 2015 Hellridemusic.com
Anyone worth their weight in riffs ought to know darn well who Gideon Smith is. He, the mastermind behind the mighty Dixie Damned has carved out a career full of hard, heavy soulful rock with one excellent album after another. While Gid prepares himself for the next DD release, he’s kept busy with this utterly crushing, doom-born side project, Cemetery Crows. This trio fills the skies with overcast and brings the North Carolinian thunder, while showing an altogether different angle to Gideon’s songwriting that’s some of the heaviest turf he’s ever tread his boots upon.
Good lord man, the title track has a pure southern DOOM riff so heavy that not even Hercules himself could lift it off the ground. It’s a rumbling, rolling boulder played at a slovenly pace with ruthless Vitus/Sabbath groove eroded and weathered by time and a windswept rhythm section. Gid holds down the low-end, refusing to stop the suffocation even if you beg as his vocals are a menacing, choking whisper from beyond the grave. Saul beats his drum kit into pieces while Salem’s guitar riffs are practically the soundtrack to a good witch burning. Jesus man…this stuff is heavy and it grinds ear canals into pulp with a sonic mortar n’ pestle the likes of which you will only find in the deep, dark south.
“Two Tygers Brightly” buries Smith’s growling vokills in echo, delay and phasing for a killer “I’ve just taken too many mushrooms” effect that creeps over a pachyderm heavy southern riff that buckles at the hips with big, bent bluesy notes and a sludgy rhythmic mudbath. Salem’s riffs start at the bottom of the valley and go on a vision quest up the side of Everest; always scaling, rappelling and reaching for that next blessed groove to bring down from the Heavens. This stuff lifts you up high but also instills massive feelings of paranoia and dismay in the fine tradition of Vitus, Sabbath, early Sour Vein and those first two Soulpreacher records.
That 4/4, classic doom/blues swing is festering in every inch of “Laying down the Hammer’s” begotten trudge. Instead of attempting to throw too many riffs at the listener at once and bog you down with duds, the Cemetery boys focus on a mere handful per track and here they let the desolate n’ decay seethe and build a mood that deliberately leads to a cathartic swinger where every note hit is a winner. Closer “Come Below” may very well be the best composition on hand with its burly, sunshine guitar/bass grooves in the vein of Bongzilla, Church of Misery and Turambar. These riffs are enough to topple Mt. Olympus and they just keep coming one after another. It’s that dirt doom sound I’ve loved for years and when done right I can’t ever get enough of it. Gid’s vocals are a creeped out narration, a tastefully imbedded scream/growl drowning in FX and never taking away from the glorious instrumental spirits conjured from the coffin.
You can get your bottom dollar if Gideon Smith has his hands in a project the results are going to be solid gold. Cemetery Crows are no exception to that rule. This is the ugliest, nastiest stuff I’ve ever heard him get down on and there is something seriously freaky and psychedelic about the way him n’ the boys get down on Wolves of Desire. Not only should this tide over fans (such as myself) rabidly awaiting new Dixie Damned material but Cemetery Crows stands tall and proud as its own thing, and I sure as hell hope we hear more from this line-up in the future!
(Thank you to Jay and Hellride Music website)
Thank you to Teeth Of The Divine Website for putting C.Crows EP in the Top list of 2015