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Maharaja - Kali Yuga album review

Dayton, Ohio stoner rockers get (s)toked for the endtimes

There’s a moment in opener Blood Moon where one of the vocalists sounds like he’s about to swallow his own throat by way of some horrible, self-induced osmosis. The menace crawls back again on Free Choice, a frantic semi-groove of muddy riffs and sweat-spraying cymbal crashes, switching up Maharaja’s Mastodon-y bellow with blood-curdling screams that demand a full double-handed grip on the mic. That’s the bonus in having two dudes who can attack from both sides of the vocal trench. Kali Yuga will be familiar to Matt Pike devotees, doing that thing where the bass lands like a bulldozer but the guitars have had a tank full of caffeine. Ouroboros goes full sludge, ploughing pitch-black depths, but the Red Fang tempo switch on Blaq Magiq Carpet Ride, Eric Bluebaum’s closest thing to singing, is the thrill seeker’s go-to track.