Saturday 2 September 2023



As you may have guessed from previous reviews on the subject Desert Psychlist are all in, fully paid up members of the Italian scuzz rock/acid doom fan club. We won't bore you with a list of the bands currently involved in this scene, if you are already a reader you will know them anyway, especially as 99.9% of them have reviews featured on these pages. What we can tell you though is that there is another you should be checking out and they are Sicilian trio Dark ShamanSeby (guitar/vocals), Dario (bass) and Alberto (drums), who have just released their debut studio EP "Evil Ceremony", expect all the usual retro horror movie artwork, semi buried vocals and lots and lots of fuzz and distortion.

Weird sounds and remote eerie voices introduce opening track "The Black Skull" followed by a thick reverberating bass and guitar riff accompanied by drumming that is thunderous on the skins and heavy on the cymbals, when the vocals do come in they are delivered in heavily filtered  swinging meter usually the reserve of sermonizing blues singers or evangelist preachers. Dark Shaman plough headlong into proto-doom territory next with "Horror Night" a doomic riff monster decorated in another swinging vocal and the prerequisite shifts in time and tempo that are a given when listening to music of this nature. Third track up "Sign Of The Wizard" is a little more driven and strident than what has passed before and has more of a stoner/desert rock vibe as well as a guitar solo's leaning towards a more blues orientated dynamic but even with those elements in place there is no getting away from the fact that this is a song rooted heavily in doom. Closing track "Acid Addict" boasts wah pedal drenched guitar riffs, dungeon dank bass and the sort of pounding percussion Vikings used to dictate the tempo of their oar strokes with, its a song with a devilishly "addictive" groove wrapped around a heavily filtered vocal delivered in a meter more akin to a nursery rhyme than doomic heaviness.

There are those who complain that the music of the bands inhabiting the Italian acid-doom scene has become too formulaic that it is, given that the majority of the bands involved  all share a similar reliance on distant vocals and heavily effect laden guitar refrains, getting hard to tell where one band starts and another one finishes, , For those heavily invested in the scene however these elements are what we love about bands like Dark Shaman and their ilk, we all have the opportunity to check out and listen to music of a more cerebral nature when we feel in the mood for it yet we all still love us some AC/DC from time to time. It is this function Italian acid doom plays in our scene, it delivers all the doom and fuzz we could possibly ask for but it doesn't demand we listen to it endlessly it just lets us know its there when we feel like getting a little dark dank and scuzzy.... and things don't get much darker, danker and scuzzier than Dark Shaman's "Evil Ceremony"
Check it out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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