Fire Down Below - Viper, Vixen, Goddess, Saint album review

Belgian stoners have trouble with their long-term memory

Cover art for Fire Down Below - Viper, Vixen, Goddess, Saint album

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The cover for Fire Down Below’s debut album features a topless woman wearing the head of a woolly mammoth, the band’s logo in a 70s pastiche font and highly stylised clouds of smoke. Before you’ve even heard a note, it’s obvious that you’re deep in stoner territory – with all the benefits and drawbacks that brings. So although there are huge walls of wobbling, Kyuss-style guitars and some Class-A riffs, there are also meandering passages of prog-lite self-indulgence. As debut releases go, this packs in plenty of promise, and 11-minute closer The Mammoth in particular hints at a band with the potential to write the stoner equivalent of Lateralus. But while Viper… is loads of fun while it’s playing, little sticks in the memory. Not exactly half-baked, but not quite the finished product – yet.