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The Obsessed - Gilded Sorrow (Ripple Music)

14 February 2024

Scott Weinrich, AKA Wino, has been leading the Obsessed (or some variation thereof: Spirit Caravan, Premonition 13, the Hidden Hand, etc.) for so long he’s become a silver fox. Fortunately he hasn’t lost a step in all those decades. Gilded Sorrow, the sixth Obsessed album, bears all the hallmarks of the stoner doom pioneer: crunchy riffs, lyrics several levels above the usual metal musings, a rhythm section that swings as much as it pounds, and Wino’s distinctive midrange growl. The only difference is the presence of second guitarist Jason Taylor, making the band a quartet for the first time and the guitar tracks thicker. On paper that makes Sorrow sound like the same grunge, different decade, but anyone who’s heard Wino knows better than that. Over forty years since the band’s debut, their consistency has been almost unreal, with songwriting a cut or three above most of their contemporaries and a committed drive that can’t be beat. “It’s Not OK” balances political anger and bludgeoning rawk power; “Yen Sleep” brings down the hammer while still remaining graceful as a dancing tyrannosaur. “Stoned Back to the Bomb Age” displays a cheeky sense of humor beneath the sonic crash, while the title track goes on an epic psychedelic journey without diluting the heaviness. “Wellspring – Dark Sunshine” is the kind of doom anthem the Obsessed made famous – roiling, crunching, atmospheric, and, most of all, rocking. Gilded Sorrow is sludgy, serious, soulful, and oh so satisfying.