Review: Grails / Pharaoh Overlord’s Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5 / self-titled

Grails / Pharaoh Overlord: Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5 / self-titledGrails/Pharaoh Overlord: Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 5 (Kemado, 10/30/12)

Grails: “Wake-Up Drill II”

Grails: “Wake-Up Drill II”

Tied together by a mutual appreciation of psychedelia, this split record by Portland’s Grails and Finland’s Pharaoh Overlord is a fitting introduction to each obscure group.

The similarities end at the intro, though. With a masterful command of melody, Grails’ songs are like a miniature psychedelic Western score, offering smoke and twang with harmonized swells and acoustic timbres. It’s all joined by distorted bass grooves and guitar murmurs, and underpinned by a steady thump.

With two tracks eclipsing 24 minutes, Pharaoh Overlord takes another road to stoner bliss, allowing repetitious rock and ambient riffs to build and morph as the listener zones out (or in). It may be another road to the same end, but both journeys are spellbinding.

Leave a Comment