Lizard Queen
(Third Eye)
2015
Crank this to 9.4 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Doom, Heavy psych rock
Sounds Like:
Om, Mindfunk, Sleep
At first blush we listen to the opener "Khan," a sludge filled Sleep inspired track and our mood frankly turns to doubt and skepticism. We look down at the tracks to follow which entails over 70 minutes of music and say to ourselves how the fuck are they going to keep our attention this long? Is this going to be another one of those drone filled repetitive drawn out albums? Well we could not have been more off base. What was to follow was an intellectually stimulating balance of stoner rock and doom precision.

First and foremost the charismatic vocals weave between monotone darkness and inspiring melodies with splashes of distorted vocal effects and echo. Bludgeoning guitar riffs that change on a dime to acoustic soft inspirational psychedelia and progressive Tool-like fretwork impress.  What Queen Lizard does best on this album is keep the listener guessing. What will they come up with next and how the fuck do they continue to keep our attention? After several rotations it becomes apparent to us that this album took some unique chemistry and patience to assemble such a lengthy diverse but connected piece of work.

Tracklist:
1. Khan 06:34
2. Little White God 09:48
3. A Big Mountain 05:04
4. Buddhadharma 07:03
5. Kiss The Lizard 03:48
6. Monolith 07:42
7. Silver Spoon 12:55
8. Fleshly Nautilus 02:34
9. Summer Of The King 07:41
10. Daughter Of Mercury 04:33
11. Rising 08:40
12. Lotus Of Destruction 11:24

What are the highlights of the album?
Third Eye takes us through quite the journey featuring a variety of standout tracks that set the bar quite high. The second track for example “Little White God” weaves in and out of Mindfunk-like stoner psychedelia. Lizard Queen may not realize how flattered they should be with the mention of Mindfunk in this review. “Little White God” features an ancestral medievail undercurrent harkening us back to Mindfunk’s 1992 album Dropped (perhaps one of the best stoner/psychedelia albums ever written). “A Big Mountain” continues to mightily impress with its hypnotic heaviness and inspiring vocal work. “Buddhadharma” goes into some sort of tribal Om meets Ethereal Riffian territory, it’s a beautiful array of psychedelics that will no doubt leave you in a sedated state-of-mind.

When we find an album that hits our nerve we can’t help but keep going on the highlights (which is the whole album in this case). Tracks five and six, “Kiss The Lizard” and “Monolith” are intensely engrossing. “Kiss The Lizard” is a short tune that suddenly bursts into a heavy repetitive jam at the 2:18 mark and “Monolith” has a Sleep Holy Mountain stoned vibe quality about it, two very infectious tunes. Let’s keep going as we approach the epic 12:38 “Silver Spoon”. This track has everything we have come to love about Lizard Queen; it’s heavy and trippy when it needs to be than on a turn of a dime they bring things down. The song definitely benefits from the constant rhythm contrasts. “Summer of the King” is fascinating with the combination of heavy stoner rock and lofty vocals, a perfect example of the diversity that keeps us captivated. The acoustics in “Daughter of Mercury” is a pleasant turn of events and one of our favorites. The song has a stripped down feel, yet keeps their aura intact. Now just sit back and let the ambiance of “Rising” take over. This one is so damn absorbing, the soft and distant vocals really elevate this one and the metal jam at the end is the icing on the cake. The last song, “Lotus of Destruction” will challenge your speakers with its tremendous bass. This is one heavy, trippy bastard of a song to close out the album.

How is the vocal performance?

The vocals are very diverse for a sludge/doom album. We found the lead vocalist to be calming and very confident; it’s what really elevated the album for us. We sometimes compare him to the 90s stoner band Mindfunk vocalist Patrick Dubar, very distinct and naturally takes over a song.

How is the production value?

The production on Third Eye has a self-produced lo-fi and raw quality about it. The craftsmanship on this album is very well structured and thought out, it’s not your everyday doom and gloom album.

What adult beverage to enjoy while listening to this album?
We highly recommend ‘Glorious’ by Massachusetts very own Lord Hobo Brewery. This 6.5% ABV American Pale Ale pours cloudy hazy gold with a creamy frothy white foam head. The aroma and taste resemble fresh passionfruit, kiwi, guava, pineapple, grapefruit peel, orange citrus, bready caramelized malt, with dank spicy floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice galactic hopped pale ale.

What are our final thoughts on Third Eye?
Lizard Queen has injected some newfound energy to our love for the sludge/doom genre. At times we feel many bands’ stick to the common formula and avoid risk. Third Eye takes a new exploratory sonic path within the psychedelic sludge order.  Their sound is cathartic and consuming as we appreciate the energy and thought that went into this album. To keep the listener engaged for over 70 minutes is not an easy task. They have succeeded in this task and we now have an album that will be in our heavy rotation for many years to come. - 2/26/2017

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