Guided Meditation Doomjazz - No Throne (2020)
Following up an EP, a live album, and a single, all released within the past year, the Austin-based trio of Guided Meditation Doomjazz are back with another four tracks. One of those was used for the aforementioned single (“Swamps of Sadness”, with another nod to The Neverending Story in its cover art), but the other three are fresh for this offering.
The release leads off with the title track, building from ominous words of nullification into a heavy but nuanced groove. With reminders to “breathe in, breathe out,” the song curls along on thick-toned bass-lines and a bowed instrument (which occasionally mimics an electric organ in timbre) providing the foundation over which the vocals drift. There's definitely a heavy psych vibe at play, but with some of that Austin fusion mentality in the works, things take an unpredictable course. “Swamps of Sadness” follows, with a poker-faced recitation of Atreyu's quest and loss of his horse. An interpretation of Giorgio Moroder's score for that section of the film accompanies the proceedings, but with the shift from synths to analog, there's an interesting adjustment of the mood to match.
“Imagine Relief” provides a rise up from the despair of the preceding track, though it keeps the mood low and heavy. It builds into a slow-loping riff carrying itself and the vocals into rising intensity and action, until they burst loose from a drum crescendo back into the original take, though now counter-playing against echoes of itself. Lastly, “New Nostalgia” picks up into a comparatively brighter groove, noodling along on the bass while the cymbals get prominent deployment. It all comes together as an interesting experience, fitting the band's name while giving your ears quite a bit to chew on. If you've been looking for something distinct and different in the doom realm, this will certainly fit the bill.
For Fans Of; Merlin, Morphine, The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, Shadowmaster, Wyatt E.