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quarta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2014

HOLY FEEDBACK, IT WILL FREE: Pressor's "Grave Full of Weed"

It's not exactly a well-kept secret that marijuana consumption breeds entire subcultures, spanning generations in history as well as giving birth to a great range of cultural - namely, artistic - expressions and lifestiles. From the hashish-infused rebetika music, through Jamaica's home-grown reggae strain all the way down to early 90's american west-coast hip-hop (and I would wager, across the hip-hop culture as a whole today, but I'm not sure), weed seems to appeal to the poor, the downtrodden, the politically conscious and the bohemian who love to bask in the buzz.
Now I'm not a marijuana smoker myself, but I've always been fascinated by the how weed culture (by which I mean, the sound and aesthetics that draw inspiration from weed and its high) made its way into metal, establishing its own niche and cult - as you do - and giving rise to a whole range of brutal, powerful music.


It made it into doom, of all places. It should not be surprising at a first glance, since doom has talked about drugs since its inception, but this brand of stoner doom takes the self-destructive, reflective ethos of classic doom and the subsequent derivates (funeral, gothic, etc) and adds a form of praise, the aggrandizement of weed and high-ness, as if being stoned is a form of ultimate salvation (or damnation, if decadence is your goal). It falls back on a superperformance in the lines of what I've mentioned earlier, but of a different kind, this time glorifying the high and a doomster lifestyle as the true sublime.
This is, of course, nothing new. From the slow spiritual journey of the Weed Priests travelling across the deserts of Israel to the three wizards crowned in weed atop the Dopethrone, stoner metal has some pretty fucking epic highlights. It also doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, the stellar performances of bands like Ufomammut and Conan laying down new paths of heavy, deep, insightful music; at the same time the culture has grown and fed the rebirth of more classic psychedelic and stoner rock through the acts of bands like Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats or The Samsara Blues Experiment.
There's a pride to the imagery and to the message that clearly stands out and I've taken Pressor's Grave Full of Weed as a prime example of the symbology, the music style and themes. The highly detailed album covered, sporting a deadbeat smoking his pipe on a coffin stuffed with weed - doom as fuck - accompanied by monsters evocative of european mythology - the demons, the fauns, the goblins and other beasts are common representations in stoner artwork. A well known example of this is the cover for Electric Wizard's album Funeralopolis, sporting a bong-smoking faun.
Grave Full of Weed is heavy as it should and rifftastic as it can. There's nothing extraordinary about Pressor but that's a good thing: they are really good at what they do and perfectly embody the particular set of stoner aesthetics that they are aiming for. If their aim is to praise the Stoned God above, then may His smoke blow down upon them, for they are blessed.

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