Bass and drum duos are uniquely positioned to bring groove like nothing else, especially in the welcoming arena of stoner, sludge, and doom metal. Berlin's GRIN are no exception, but what makes their new album Phantom Knocks really draw you in (aside from the severely cool album art) is how the band shrouds their entrancing rhythmic core in a fascinating soundscape that almost defies this rhythm. The in-the-pocket jams at the center of Phantom Knocks act like a navigator through a delirious sandstorm, stirred up by layers of keening guitars. At almost any moment in the album, there's something that stirs the mind to wander with thoughts of vast deserts–a stretched-out vocal line, a wistful melody–and then there's that monstrously delightful bass tone and thick snare to reel listeners back in.

Not all is pleasantly hallucinatory in the land of Phantom Knocks, however: some parts, like "Aporia"'s bombastic choruses, or basically all of "Apex," are terrifyingly hallucinatory. The band sprinkles in a mix of gruff roars and what feels like demonic gibbering to help hone this sinister edge: a blade of aggression that cuts through the cloudy hypnosis. The band's clean vocals are equally as powerful, however, turning tracks like "Arcane" (which also features guest René Noçon on Hammond organ) into spellbinding displays.

Throughout it all, the band's enticing knack for drum-bass stoner groove cohesion never lets up, and Phantom Knocks draws listeners through the ever-maddening wastes on a course only GRIN knows. Enjoy the ride, and stream the album below before it releases this Friday.



Phantom Knocks releases October 14th via The Lasting Dose Records.

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