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The great country of Sweden has no shortage of stoner rock bands, so it can be hard to get excited about yet another one. But there’s something about Moon Coven that makes the group stand out. That something feels indefinable on third LP Slumber Wood – after all, the quartet wields the same tools as most every other group of its ilk. Downtuned riffs, slow tempos, enigmatic lyrics, an occult atmosphere – it’s all there, just as it is for so many other artists around the world. But on songs like “Ceremony,” “Seagull” and “Eye of the Night,” the guitar parts favor melody as much as crunch, the rhythms flow instead of plod, and the reverb-drenched vocalist’s semi-declamatory style dismisses any notions of fantasy melodrama or gothic vicissitude. By the time we get to stunner “Bahgsu Nag,” the sound is as much shamanistic psychedelia as musclebound doom metal, like Red Temple Spirits indulging their inner Sabbath. The band ends the record with “My Melting Mind,” a statement of purpose and culmination of what Moon Coven is all about. Psink into the psound.
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