Crystal Spiders is a rare example of a rhythm-focused stoner doom band. This is of course evident from their heavy emphasis on bass, but more importantly in how they're able to bend rhythm to their will: each riff, lick, fill, and vocal line deftly manipulates the music's feel, making each repetition of a killer segment that much more enjoyable. The duo's debut album Molt demonstrated that not only did they sound a little different from their voluminous competition, but they also had the songwriting chops to back up their approach, providing sleazy, groovy doom with a retro-horror flair that wasn't just surface-level. They're poised to release their next album Morieris in October, offering the same smoky spookiness with a few new tricks. For an audiovisual sampling, watch the video for new single "Maelstrom" now, providing twisted and tantalizing visuals to match the serpentine riffs within.

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"Maelstrom" flips the classic (though never stale) stoner doom trope of "slow song goes fast" on its head, starting as a raging tempest and dialing it down from there. Mike Dean, Corrosion of Conformity bassist, lends his guitar talents to the record, which makes all the difference in "Maelstrom"'s quick-paced first half; the frantic lead passages he offers are supremely tasty and syncopated. While at first vocalist/bassist Brenna Leath relies on piercing high-pitched vocals to match the onrushing tide, as the song slows down she shifts into a deeper and more soulful mode to match, eerily accentuating some of the video's stranger scenes. Winding down more and more, the track takes on an increasingly heavy feel: guitar becomes less and less present against the rumbling bass, the drums play less busily, and each vocal line is slower than the last. Finally, only one last reverberating bass note remains to close out the song in a pool of fuzz. There's no extended solos or instrumental meandering to speak of here, but the song never grows repetitive over its six-minute runtime, instead maximizing the potential of each groove within.

Morieris has an unmatchable sense of impact; each smack of the floor tom and each warbly high note on the bass pop out of the mix in gritty clarity, whereas elsewhere they might have been mixed into near-nothingness. Unafraid of its rough and nastier edges, there's no amplifier worship or tacky occult worship to be found here: just heavy music meant to rattle the bones.

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Morieris releases October 1st via Ripple Music.