Here's a brief look at a demo from some locals that happened to cross my path. Venice's Voodoo Merchant play a version of stoner-influenced doom that incorporates the heavy dirges of bands such as Bongzilla and Samothrace, mixes in some psychedelic wanderings, and adds a touch of distant, melodic vocals similar to those of Ufomammut.
Five songs grace the self-titled demo with a great deal of cavernous, meandering jams (the first track, “Lost Jam”, will mesmerize) combined with plodding, crushingly heavy riffs. For a first effort, the demo works very well and should garner Voodoo Merchant notice beyond that of the locals who flock to their shows scattered around the L.A. area.
A couple of minor problems appear in the form of drumming that noticeably lags behind the guitar and bass in terms of musicianship (I understand that the drumming has improved since the recording, though), and the lack of a really thick, professional production that should really give a release such as this a tremendous amount of weight (unavoidable, of course, as a first demo).
At any rate, those of you heavily into stoner-laced doom with a hint of psychedelics should definitely give Voodoo Merchant a look, and I've no doubt that labels will notice.
Voodoo Merchant Official MySpace
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