Doomsdayer’s Holiday

By Lucas Bradley-Kelly May 19, 2009 Published in the October 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

WHILE PRIMARILY an instrumental album, Grails’s DOOMSDAYER’S HOLIDAY (“Temporary Residence Music”) trades in the festive regalia of lilting hill music for the pitch-black depths of acid-doom metal. It’s a seriously heavy proceeding with a surprisingly lush and layered sound. Beginning with an opening fanfare of heart-palpitating percussion and ascending guitars, the first track, “Reincarnation Blues,” quickly works itself into a broiling crescendo that provides a telling portent for the rest of this Can-meets-Black Sabbath creation.

Though they call Portland home, Grails’s music seems to originate from some extra-dimensional, or even extraterrestrial, source. (Mordor, perhaps?) One moment you’re swept up in the jarring cacophony and brutal deconstruction of a musical phrase; the next you’re gliding through a swooning Eastern voyage that borders on the psychedelic. Even if you aren’t necessarily into this kind of dark and stormy trip, the precision, unexpected textures, and ebullient flow make Doomsdayer’s Holiday worth a listen.

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