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Just like the ominous figures assembled on the album art hide swirling vortexes within their cloaks, Warlung's upcoming full-length Optical Delusions is more fantastical than it initially seems. Gratuitously saturated guitar kicks off the track "The Scorpion in the Sand," invigorating riff-rock in its most classic form, but prolonged exposure reveals a psychedelic core that jams even as it warps your mind. Check out our exclusive stream of the song now.

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Firmly establishing their mastery of heavy stoner grooves within the first few seconds of "The Scorpion in the Sand," Warlung wastes no time revealing a roster of pleasant surprises within the rest of the song. Vocals, often a secondary concern, are used to great effect -- both guitarists in the band sing and forge what's effectively a four-part harmony in the dazzling choruses, voice and guitar intertwining. When the song's drive seems to have reached its zenith, Warlung finds another level by introducing something I've dearly felt 2020 lacks so far: the cowbell, here applied to devastatingly righteous effect. The straight-up riffing that kicks things off feels rather distant by the time the song ends, but every turn taken and layer added only increases the potency of the track.

"The Scorpion in the Sand" is throwback-meets-progressive, the heavy seventies's thickened stomps intermeshed with the aspirational experimentation of later-era stoner rock. It's custom-built for both indulgent headbanging and thoughtful study, with relistens sure to be lucrative for either approach.

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Optical Delusions releases October 9th via Heavy Psych Sounds. Regarding "The Scorpion in the Sand," the band says:

This song, "The Scorpion in the Sand," will take you on a journey to an ancient land, a place between the heavens and the underworld.

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