Spelljammer play a form of doom that incorporates elements of stoner metal, sludge, and psychedelic/progressive rock into its makeup. This is then shaped into 43 minutes of satisfying and enjoyable doom, nay, DOOOOM, that really hits the spot.
To these ears Abyssal Trip‘s music comes across as a heady mix of bands such as Monolord, Slomatics, Sleep, Warhorse, and Electric Wizard. In many ways, if you know what to expect, there’s no surprises here. That’s not the point though; the point is quality, and Spelljammer have loads of it.
The band’s take on hypnotic doom is infectious. With slow grooves and heavy distortion leading the way, the songs display a textured, emotive heaviness that’s quite compelling. Spelljammer balance atmospheric depth with a more riff-centric direct approach well, moving between the two, and sometimes combining them, with skill and ease.
Melodic accents appear here and there, adding colour to the thick, crunchy riffs. The bass guitar is frequently used to add extra detail and nuance, sometimes filling in gaps between the rich guitars as they ply their doomed trade. Vocals are used as just another instrument, providing yet another layer of the proverbial onion for listeners to peel back.
If you’re looking for colourful doom metal played with characterful skill and with a low, slow, crushing presence, then look no further than Abyssal Trip. Spelljammer have impressed.
Very highly recommended.