It's no secret that Desert Psychlist is a sucker for female vocals especially when they are set against a background of heavy riffage and heavier rhythms. Birmingham, Alabama's Ember, Crystal Bigelow (Vocals), Jeremy Allen (Bass), Jon Reid (Guitar), Justin Treece (Guitar) and Eric Bigelow (Drums), create a groove and a sound that ticks all those boxes and more as can be heard on the bands debut EP "261".
"261" begins with "7th Circle", its intro of heavy crunching, distorted riffage slowly dissipating into shards and fragments as Crystal Bigelow's vocals enter, her hauntingly ethereal but strong tones telling tales of "shattered souls" and "pits of snakes" over a backdrop of groove heavy exotic doom.
"Niche" is up next and jams a stuttering metallic doom groove around which Bigelow weaves dark lyrics pleading for someone to "pull me down to the grave" , her voice soaring above the rhythmic patterns bassist Allen and drummer E. Bigelow lay beneath her, and wending around the riffs and solo's Reid and Treece use to accompany her semi-operatic tones with.
Final track "Living Bones (Dying Flesh)" sees Ember hitting a groove that at times sails a little close to the symphonic nu-metal of Evanescence but is saved from this fate by its excursions into areas of heavy psyched doom and occult rock, shifting through a myriad of differing dynamics and subtle time changes with Bigelow's vocals swooping and soaring majestically overhead.
"261" is a stunning EP brimming over with class and quality and one that promises much for the future.
Check it out.......