The RMR crew just covered a slightly grungy Stoner piece that works on an abundance of bass, drums, and smoky female vocals. A true delight that provides transport back to the ’70s and early ’80s.1) Yet now, it’s high time to get another version that flows in on an abundance of doom, wah-wah, fuzz, and a true lead guitar. Meet Purple Dawn, the uniquely colored time machine. Slushy dreams of long-gone psychedelic delights? Quite.
Peace & Doom Vol. II has no intention to reinvent the wheel. Or – worse – to hide its colors.2) Right off the bat, you’ll get a sense of old-style Doom Rock that roars forward on a gluttony of Stoner Rock and psych. Downturned guitars, mid-tempo tracks, and a penchant for laid-back blues, wah-wah, and a ton of fuzz. Some sort of juicy mixture of Led Zeppelin and late Black Sabbath combined. By Jove, I am hearing Ozzy rummaging around in the background, it’s that
Oh, and didn’t I mention the bass before? I did, and for cause. For this threesome, the bass forms an intricate part of the overall construction. In fact, you get the lead guitar and bassist playing at each other, as in equal parts. And that’s exactly how things should be.3) Most unfortunately, many bands out there use this instrument as a locked rhythms object of sorts without unlocking its full potential.
Another pretty cool feature of Peace & Doom Vol. II is that live feeling. And indeed. As the lore goes, the band sat itself down in a studio and started hacking away. The outcome is one of these products of the Pandemick Panick that didn’t let bands appear in public. So, more by desperation than by design, those bands offered themselves a live session. And Purple Dawn is not the only band we covered in that kind of predicament. But that also means that passion finally gets an outlet and the results are astonishingly good. Bottled-up creativity at work, like.
And it shows. Straight from a somewhat noodly Bonganchamun, you get transported back in time to an era where rock ‘n’ roll was an adventure, set to discover new shiny things. Fueled by bong-filtered substances, any experimentation was fair game, and it is this feeling that Peace & Doom Vol. II projects so well.
You’ll find a pretty slow progression as the record waltzes through the tracklist. It’s a bit like those steam trains of old. They indeed took their sweet time to speed up. 100 Years a Day will get you some warm-up stoner sound that will feel cozy to most adepts of that genre. But once Old Fashioned Black Madness hits, true substance comes along. Scents of good ol’ Sabbath without the whine, juicy breaks, great riffs to make you grab that whisky bottle, it’s all there.
But the filet piece – The Moon Song – really did us in. That one comes on a hotbed of slow-moving Heavy Rock. It’s so retro, full of fuzz, and wah-wah, it made me go search for those baggy pants from eons ago. But by the unholy gods of weed, the solo(s) on that one made us return to this track a few times too many. And speaking about which, we ask you to refrain from judgment until you get to the solo on Death to a Dying World. That’s the one track that seems to emanate straight from Suncraft‘s back office. Even if it has this tendency to linger a bit too much.
And that leads me straight to the one big negative on Peace & Doom. Some 41 minutes of airtime usually ain’t too much trouble. But here, the record seems way longer. And that’s probably because the band eternally revisits similar themes all over again. In other words, the RMR crew bemoaned a certain lack of variation. Even if this is a somewhat difficult proposition in the band’s chosen genre.
Ultimately though, Peace & Doom Vol. II is a delightful retro-looking album. Purple Dawn pretty masterfully mixed doom, stoner, woozy psych, and deliciously heavy, old-style rock into a tasty amalgam. To the point that it made us reach for that good ol’ pouch, just to find it devoid of even mean tobacco these days. Modern times, I tell ya. Good that we have bands that are able to pull back that curtain to the past and make us relive those times when razor-sharp rock was truly exciting. A lifestyle of sorts, not just some computer-generated mindless mush we often find these days.