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Acid King: Middle Of Nowhere, Centre Of Everywhere

San Francisco’s stoner/doom pioneers re-emerge from the mists

It’s frustrating when a great band goes AWOL for a decade, but this tortoise-like work rate seems appropriate in the world of doom. Californian trip freaks Acid King gained momentum and kudos in the late 90s – as respected as likeminded peers Electric Wizard – but the bowel-loosening trio withdrew from sight after their third album in 2005.

This new LP suggests they’ve been hibernating in their basement all along, wreathed in dope smoke, cranking sinister low-end fuzz hymns and obsessively re-reading paperbacks about Satanic drug murder.

Woofer-blowing hallucinogenic psych-sludge jams are still the band’s evergreen modus operandi, and Lori S is still the most powerful frontwoman in doom, her plaintive shamanic wail reverberating hypnotically over her own scratchy, gargantuan riffs, but there’s perhaps a touch more subtlety to Acid King 2015; the febrile threads of dissonance in Silent Pictures more artistically rendered, the solo in Infinite Skies more elegant in its desolation.

However, more frustrating than the 10-year wait is the faint suspicion that Acid King could knock out three of these a week if they had the energy./o:p

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.