The Re-Stoned – “Totems” (R.A.I.G. 2014, R083, CD/Download)

Russian Stoner-Psych trio The Re-Stoned are back with their latest album, Totems. The band are the trio of Ilya Lipkin on guitars, bass, mandola, shaman drum, and jew’s harp, Alexander Romanov on bass, and Vladimir Muchnov on drums.

Fire Bear and Shaman are both stoned metallic rockers with tasty Psych guitar leads and some spacey effects. Things really start to get interesting with Hypnosis, which injects a more overt Space Rock edge to the music, but also includes a cool variety of guitar sounds and effects, from liquid Psychedelic, to soundscape, Stoner Metal, and Lipkin rips off some killer searing leads. I like the combination of heaviness and atmospherics. Chakras opens with a trippy Eastern vibe, developing a slowly building meditative yet tension building intro, featuring winding ambient Psych guitar, Bluesy trip guitar, ethnic percussion, and spaced out electronics. A few minutes in the band transition to a funky rocking groove, with wah’d guitar leads and embellished by asteroid attack effects. One of my favorite tracks of the set. Old Times is a tasty slab of 70s inspired Hard Rock and includes guest guitar solo by Kent Stump of Wo Fat. Melting Stones is a short acoustic driven tune that’s like a Desert Rock Psychedelic take on a Spaghetti Western soundtrack. The Barbarian Hymn is another highlight and the perfect title for this Sabbath sludgy rocker with slowly ripping solos that conjures up images of a Conan led army of towering, barrel chested, sword wielding warriors. About halfway through this 10+ minute march the band veer into a stoned Space Rock dirge, with angst ridden Psych leads and a steady hypnotic acid-drone, before returning to the opening theme which rumbles along like a tank to the finale. Sleepwalker is a short bit of Psychedelic Blues with passionate, melodic guitar. And Violet Harmonics closes the set with pure atmospheric exploration. The music is anchored by a repetitive, doomy, unsettling ambient throb, with grooving pagan percussion providing the rhythmic pulse, varied freaky alien effects and soundscapes, plus wandering guitar.

I look forward to new Re-Stoned albums as these guys continue to demonstrate that with each new effort they just keep getting better and more interesting, extending themselves beyond the standard Stoner-Psych template. Vocals are typically required with this kind of music but The Re-Stoned make it work as an all instrumental combo with lots of intriguing variety. Check it out.

For more information visit the R.A.I.G. web site at:
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The album will also be released on vinyl by Headspin Records with different artwork and a slightly different track listing. CLICK HERE for availability.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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