posted on 5/2006 By:
I’m gonna tell you metalheads about one of the easiest decisions you’ll have to make this year – go buy the reissue of Lunar Womb...right fucking now. Seriously, stop reading this verbal squirt, gather your laundry quarters up in a sock, and clout the pimpled indi-kid working the register at your local record store upside the head. Every fan of heavy music should be ecstatic the fine people at Meteor City have finally made this release more accessible. Before this year, Lunar Womb was only available on the relatively obscure German label, Hellhound, a fine group of Krauts responsible for releasing many of the early 90s U.S. proto-doom bands like Internal Void, Revelation, Unorthodox, and obviously The Obsessed.
You see folks, before there were any of the doom-laden, heavy, sludgy bands that have been hitting the streets as of late, there was Maryland’s - The Obsessed – a band that not only served as a principle, vital building block for loads of worthy heavy bands, but a band that also featured future members of a number of incredibly prominent bands following their demise in the mid 90s. Most folks are likely familiar with the near Saintly touch of Scott “Wino” Weinrich and what he did apart from The Obsessed – St. Vitus, Spirit Caravan, Place of Skulls, and now The Hidden Hand – but the remaining 2/3’s of the band did their share of shaking the foundation of heavy music as well. Greg Rogers went on to flail skins for hard-rockin’ miscreants, Goatsnake, and bassist, Scott Reeder, went on to play a prominent roll in the final two Kyuss records. Ears finally pricked to attention? Excellent, let's proceed…
Much like many of the other indispensable groups that helped shape heavy metal over the years, The Obsessed’s sound defied categorization and appealed to fans of music across genres – punk, rock and metal. The chemistry between Reeder’s smooth, sometimes rollicking bass lines and Roger’s simple, driving rhythms were seamlessly tied together by the dirty, heavy riffing and often blistering, near psychedelic lead guitar work of a young Wino. Bundle said music together with the incredibly powerful, soulful wailings of Weinrich (seriously, this guy is easily in my top three of ‘all time greatest metal vocalists’) and you’ve got yourself a true bona fide classic in the making.
Lunar Womb takes the formula already set in motion by the bands’ classic self-titled debut and builds further on the set heavy credo. Dirty fuckin’ rockers chocked full of wailing leads, bubbling bass, and bluesy riffs pop up with “Brother Blue Steel” and “No Mas”, while faster numbers like “Bardo”, the incredible instrumental “Spew”, and the straight up punk fist of “No Blame” are likely what landed The Obsessed on people like Henry Rollins’ list of noteworthy bands. The doom elements that have steered the band towards the proto-doom moniker can obviously be attributed to their mid-paced and slower numbers, along with their incredibly sludgy, doomy live sound. The Obsessed generally forsook the flowery for the formidable when it came to writing bereft tunes, and Lunar Womb is certainly no exception. “Hiding Mask” and “Endless Circles” both plod along and annihilate with the best of doom bands today, while the amazing “Kachina”, “Jaded”, and the epic self-titled track travel a more mid-paced doomish stride. From start to finish, Lunar Womb strikes fully on target without a single miss-fire.
Honestly people, if you consider yourself a fan of heavy music, you need to check this album out. Not only are these songs immediately enjoyable, but you’ll find over time they’ll sink deep into the marshmallow center of your brain and set heavy, unshakable roots. In fact, The Obsessed’s early recordings stand as the type of works I can revisit at any given time and happily lose myself in the heavy web spun by these three titans of heavy metal. I'm happy to hand Lunar Womb my first set of 6/6/6's since starting here at MetalReview.com... this is absolutely essential listening.
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