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I’ve always had a problem with most "stoner doom." Yes, we’ve all heard that riff before, if Black Sabbath hadn’t recorded it in the ‘70s, Sleep definitely etched it in stone two decades thereafter. In a genre so strictly defined in emulation, bands are a dime a dozen, and it is easy to become disenchanted by the bubble-lettered, tie-dyed shag carpet wormhole. That isn’t to say I bear an intrinsic hatred for bluesy stoner doom, quite the contrary - I love Sleep and (Dopethrone-era) Electric Wizard as much as the next guy, but why not just draw the line there?

As it turns out, French doom metal band Verdun has dug their own, special channel from the genre’s ever-downward spiral. With obvious roots in the classic doom metal groove, Verdun injects a strong hardcore presence - some might even say it approaches beatdown levels - resulting in complete sludge devastation. No doubt following in the unmistakable footprints of fellow doom metal greats Burning Witch and the aforementioned Dopethrone, Verdun crushes and mesmerizes with their steady, organic plod. Make no mistake, Verdun is definitely a stoner doom band, as evidenced by their meandering psychedelia and strong feel for head-bobbing groove, but The Eternal Drift’s Canticles shows a much more mature approach. It’s 2016, follow in Verdun’s footsteps and do more with what you are given.

The Eternal Drift’s Canticles will be available on 2LP and CD on April 29 via Throatruiner Records, Head Records, and Lost Pilgrims Records. Scroll down for an exclusive listen to "Self-Inflicted Mutalitation." Get crushed.

—Jon Rosenthal

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Follow Verdun on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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