It seems that the life of an Irish stoner doom band is one that moves along slowly at its own pace. Since their inception way back in 2008, Galway's Weed Priest have taken their time over material released and waited a whole three years before revealing their first demo. Since then the band have been honing their sound to perfection whilst mired in a fog of smoke, occult thoughts and long ago tales of witchcraft! Now in 2013 they have returned with their debut self titled studio album, six tracks of intense stoner doom riffs and melodies!
As always with me the first thing of note is the album artwork and the green and black stand out massively to my eye and give the whole release a very old school feel. On pressing play on the disc you are greeted by a cold droning tone and the dialogue from a session at a psychiatrists before a slowed down and heavy bass melody kicks in, leading effortlessly into down tuned riff-age which rises to crescendo before unloading it's weight slowly and methodically.
As the doom and intensity increases in come the harsh guttural howls of the vocals and finally each piece if the Weed Priest puzzle is in place and resonating with full force off of every wall and surface as 'Final Spell' casts it's magic upon it's audience.
As the crushingly heavy and immensely pleasing 'Final Spell' fades, so rises 'Erichtho' ... a track which retains the bands bass heavy feel whilst adding just a little bit more groove and funk but also never letting those heavy vibes drop for a second! Interestingly enough the echo like quality on the vocals reminds me some what of Domkyrkan favourites Serpent Omega and their track 'Smoke Ritual'... indeed the effects and mastering feel very similar to me. Equally as captivating and shrouded in mystery and layers of smoke filled haze is 'Walpurgia' whose eerie tones help Weed Priest further build their mystique and bolsters their heavy monolithic sound.
With a smooth feel in tow it is easy to cruise along with 'Thy Kingdom Gone' as the band step up a gear once more for what is one of the stand out tracks of the album and one that leads onto the more abrasive title track 'Weed Priest'. Closing things out is 'Day Of Reckoning' which brings to an end an album that whilst not the most diverse is still an intense listening experience, slow, dark, troubling and creepy as well as drenched in old school doom charm very much along the lines of Electric Wizard. I for one will be keeping close tabs on this talented band to see what their next offering brings to the table.
8/10 - Luke Hayhurst