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ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Astrological Passages
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by Death Pedals
Punk, Noise rock, Psychedelic
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Otehi
(Garden of God)
2017
Staff Rating: Crank this to 9.5 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Heavy rock, Psychedelic, Stoner rock
Sounds Like:
Kings of Frog Island, Floater, Ethereal Riffian
We have been anxiously awaiting for the new Otehi album to drop and here it is in all its glory. Garden of God, the follow-up to 2014’s Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies does not disappoint one bit. The trio from Italy have taken their mesmerizing Ethereal Riffian-like psychedelic sound and beefed it up with more dense and stoner-driven rhythms. Otehi do a brilliant job of keeping true to their psychedelic nature all the while injecting this Kyuss-like heaviness to their signature sound. Garden of God could be one of the better loner albums we have heard this year. Whether you’re on a long road trip, a crisp hike, or even just mulling around the house, Garden of God has this desolate stoner feel. Not to say it’s depressing by any means, the music just has a way of taking the listener out of reality for a moment.

ROTATION RECAP:

Vocal Performance – 9.2 of 11
The vocals are upfront and clean with a bit of underlying pain. They also vary in style; take “Verbena” for example, the whispering spoken word fits perfectly within the album.

Risk of Subwoofer Damage – 10 of 11
Crank this one up slowly, the music on Garden of God is quite involved. The bass work and percussion will challenge any system. “Purified” is a great example, we had moments of speaker vibration happening during this track.

Lyrics and Song Structure – 9.7 of 11

Otehi really deliver on this record. Even though the band has veered towards the stoner-driven route, the songs are still very intricate and each one shines on its own.

Fretwork Prowess – 9.1 of 11

The dense and psychedelic tone really elevates the album and helps define their unique aura.

Overall Album Flow – 9.4 of 11
All nine tracks work together and weave beautifully between one another.

Contrast – 9 of 11
There is a wide variety of craftsmanship on this album. We hear various influences ranging from Kyuss, Bloodiest and Floater to name a few.

Album Cover Aesthetics – 10 of 11
The artwork done by bassist and vocalist Maciej Wild Mikolajczyk is fucking amazing. The art really sets the tone for the music. We need to see more of his work.

Production Value – 9.7 of 11

Solid production on this one, so crank this mother up, it will test your system.

Standout Track(s)
There really is no standout track. “Naked God” has a Sky Valley aura which is tremendous. We do hear a bit of Kings of Frog Island on “The Great Cold,” which is another solid cut. The brilliant “Purified” goes into a trippy Floater meets Bloodiest vibe. “Verbena” is also a magnificent song, the soft vocals are somewhat reminiscent to Buddo from Last Cracks’ 1990 album Burning Time, a classic our around here.

Alcohol Pairing
We recommend Milk Stout Nitro by Left Hand Brewing Company. This full-bodied sweet stout has the aroma of brown sugar and vanilla cream, with hints of roasted coffee.

Lasting Impression
Otehi have outdone themselves with Garden of God, the album never gets outplayed and the music is very rich and layered. We urge you to add this to your heavy rotation and remember to slowly turn it up as it will test your system. - 12/13/2017

Tracklist:
1 Sabbath 1:01
2 Naked God 9:57
3 The Great Cold 9:51
4 Verbena 9:11
5 Purified 10:33
6 Esbath 2:38

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