Turned to Stone Chapter 8: The Wake – High Desert Queen/Blue Heron – Split (Review)

Turned to Stone Chapter 8 The Wake - High Desert Queen Blue Heron - SplitThis is a split between High Desert Queen and Blue Heron, two stoner rock bands from the US.

High Desert Queen open the split. They contribute three songs, with a total duration of 13 minutes.

I haven’t heard High Desert Queen before this, but as soon as opening cut Black Moon starts I regret this. With a meaty heaviness that’s very satisfying and the sort of melodies that make you want more, I like what I’m hearing a great deal. The singer’s voice has a very good presence and has instant character. Yep, I like this very, very much.

The next song – Drift into the Sun – is the shortest, and delivers a 3-minute introspective interlude piece that’s full of feeling and textured emotion. It showcases another side to High Desert Queen, and makes me even more pleased by what they seem capable of.

This side of the split ends with Roll the Dice, which once again sees the band peeling off thick riffs with smooth vocals. It’s a great example of simple-but-effective songwriting and makes a strong impression.

Well, this has been great. I definitely need to check out some more High Desert Queen, as these three songs have impressed.

Blue Heron are up next, and give us 16 minutes of heavy rocking fun spread across three tracks. We’ve met this band before, (on their 2021 debut EP and 2022 album Ephemeral), and they’re the main reason I wanted to check this split out, (big bonus finding out how good High Desert Queen are too).

Able Baker starts us off very nicely. The music is upbeat, yet carries feeling deeper than the beat suggests. The vocals sound better than ever, particularly the cleans which I absolutely cannot get enough of on this track. Seriously, that’s some very moreish stuff. I can’t help but feel this is Blue Heron’s best song so far.

Next we have Day of the Comet, which, much like the first song, just bleeds character and has an easy going doomy desert feeling. There’s an earthy, organic authenticity here that’s infectious.

We end with Superposition, which has a stoner rock swagger that lets you know in no uncertain terms that it means business. It’s a feel-good song that’s fun to listen to and sweeps you away in a rush of riffs and genial attitude.

This is a well-crafted collection of songs that shows Blue Heron are just getting better and better. Onwards and upwards!

If you have a hunger for stoner rock than I urge you to get your grubby mitts on this platter of tasty treats.

Very highly recommended.


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