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Blue Heron - “Black Blood of the Earth” b/w “A Sunken Place” (self-released)

20 December 2021

Led by Jadd Shickler, former singer for Spiritu, founder of defunct stoner metal label MeteorCity and current majordomo of newish Stoner Metal label Blues Funeral, New Mexico’s Blue Heron hits the sweet spot at the center of a vortex around which swirls sensual stoner doom, thuggish heavy blues and bad trip psychedelia. “Black Blood of the Earth” rides a bucking bronco of dancing dinosaur riffs and surprisingly graceful rhythms, with Shickler alternating between a carnivorous roar and a lush croon. “A Sunken Place” eschews the acid for a more straightforward metal crunge, dropping any pretense of grace and going straight for the jugular. It’s difficult these days for bands to craft this kind of heaviosity, of which there are oceans, with any real distinction. But Blue Heron does it on the first try, making it inevitable to be eager for more.