Flesh of the Stars – Hosanna [US, Stoner Doom] (2016)

Self Released | 1-19-16

Self Released | 1-19-16

I do not cover a lot of doom. I think I cover even less stoner doom. This is not becasue I feel the style is without merit rather the imagery does not grab me as much as black and death metal. It takes a certain angle on stoner doom to grab not just me but anyone that isn’t specifically looking for that style. I want to pay attention to more doom this year as I feel there are some great bands hiding behind dark columns of smoke. If 2016 is going as well as Flesh of the Stars second record, I may be more persuaded to stay.

First impressions are important for unsigned and independent bands. The heft of stoner doom has a specific image which includes a throwback structure and stoned vibes to blur the edges. Flesh of the Stars certain has those qualities but combined with a variety of different doom styles including traditional and epic which is held down by a highly occult temperament. The cover for Hosanna, the band’s second full length is a red and black depiction of a demonic Last Supper. Even typing that sentence does not convey the subtleties this band possesses as they strike a middle ground between bands like Sleep, Warning, and Blood Ceremony in 33 minutes of psychedelic demon worship which is never tacky nor derivative rather a fusion of many elements that make up a tapestry of doom metal.

Hosanna is a record which is so full of surprises, it almost feels unfair how underrated this band is. The mournful traditional take on “Welcome The Night” and the patience of the closing track “Sun Salute” is refreshing in a style sometimes hotboxed with pot smoke and and an eagerness to be as goofy as possible. Flesh of the Stars certainly pays tribute to their stoner mentors of the past but after those devotions comes a breathe of creativity which makes the somewhat short running time pass almost instantly. This is not a band releived to just be playing in the style rather one which continues walking forward after arriving at their destination.