Thursday, 18 October 2012

Samothrace - Reverence to Stone (Album Review)

Formed in 2006, Samothrace are an active 4-piece Doom act based in Seattle.

Their line-up consists of:

Brian Spinks - Guitars/Vocals
Dylan Desmond - Bass
Renate Castagna - Guitars
Joe Axler - Drums


1. When We Emerged

2. A Horse of Our Own


The band is named after a Greek island that is the home of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a site of important Hellenic and pre-Hellenic religious ceremonies. The most famous artifact from this site is a large, half-crumbled statue of Nike, the goddess of victory in ancient Greek mythology.
Having since relocated to Washington, Samothrace originally formed out of Kansas and surrounding areas sometime in 2006. Due to the turmoils every band inevitably encounters, they had a few haults such as line-up changes and the occasional incomplete song, which we get to experience on this LP with the first track 'When We Emerged' having originally appeared on their 2007 demo.

Samothrace's lyrical theme revolves around social unrest, political corruption, and the resilience we carry to bounce back from otherwise shitty conditions inherent in life.

The band features highly talented members, past and present, involved with acts such as Oroku, Splatterhouse, The Fucktards, and Short Bus Kids. Their beginnings were as friends within the punk/hardcore scene, which gave rise to this almighty band, Samothrace.


Samothrace offer a sound with depth and emotion unmatched by most that fall into this category of doom. I was blown away, yet again, by their latest release 'Reverence to Stone', being a fan of this band since their very first full-length, 'Life's Trade', which is also available via 20 Buck Spin. Both are highly recommended, as they don't trail far from their roots, harboring a characteristic style fans love about this band.

The long awaited two-track, nearly 40-minute long gem surpassed my expectations, with the first track now complete after nearly 5 years after it's conception. Both tracks are flawless and superb in build-up, delivering everything we expect from this band. They leave their original, yet ever-evolving sound untouched and heavy as ever.

'When We Emerged' starts off very atmospheric with the perfect amount of melody, slowly integrating the down-tempo goodness we all love with progressive sludge/doom. The vocals kick in shortly thereafter, dissonant like that of which many funeral doom bands utilize. Then, shit really starts to get heavy with Axler pummeling away to the sound of his mates dishing out a slighly faster delivery of the same melodies.

'A Horse of Our Own' is even more rewarding in depth and really showcases Renate and Brian's skills on guitars, as well as Spinks' harrowing vocals that give a sense of despair and pain. Both tracks seem to drop off in the same atmospheric fashion they began with, but remain intense throughout.

If you are into deliberate build-ups that offer faster instrumental sections which fade out eerily, then this is the album to dive into. The emotion felt on 'Reverence to Stone' is bleak, yet uplifting, but remains harmonious as a whole. I am really looking forward to future releases from Samothrace, as it is truly a band which lives up to everything I've come to love about them. Style, sound, originality and quality is what we can expect. They do not disappoint and this release proves that.

Samothrace have recently played alongside other notable acts such as Bereft, Pallbearer, Royal Thunder and Brainoil, just to name a few. Updates on upcoming tours are sure to follow.

'Reverence to Stone' was produced at Soundhouse Studios in Seattle with producer Brandon Fitzsimmons (ex-Wormwood) and mastered at Earhammer by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Graves At Sea). Cover art by hardcore/punk musician and artist Moses Saarni.

Please check them out below and support the band  - I want them to have enough money to tour to Europe one day. Thanks for your cooperation.

Samothrace - When We Emerged

Samothrace - Reverence to Stone (LP, 2012)