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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Karma To Burn

Appalachian Incantation

Review by Gary Hill

I’m a big fan of the stoner rock genre. Come on, it’s built on Sabbath-like riffs and other classic rock elements – how can you not like it? The thing is, it can be a bit limiting. Then when you add in a secondary limitation like only having two songs on the disc that feature vocals, you are definitely running the risk of boredom. To their credit, Karma to Burn make it through the bulk of the disc without hitting that trap. These guys are that good. Towards the end, though, the lack of variety really starts to weigh this down and it gets a bit tedious. Kudos to them for taking such a limited scale and getting that far without dragging, though.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Forty-Four

This fires out in a killer stoner rock type of jam. It’s classic rock built on some awesome riffing.

Forty-Two
A melodic hard rocker, the general layout isn’t altered that much from the previous piece. There is a cool Sabbath-like riff later.
Forty-One
There’s almost a Motorhead vibe to the opening section of this, but it gets a bit more technical after that. This is an interesting song that represents a bit of a change, while keeping the same general format. 
Forty-Six
The terrain isn’t changed a lot, but we’ve got a new road map for this musical journey. 
Waiting On the Western World
Here we get a track with vocals. They haven’t overall changed the musical schemes a lot, but the singing adds a different dimension. This reminds me a lot of something from Clutch, but with different vocals. 
Forty-Three
At times the riffing on this makes me think of Zeppelin. At other points I’m reminded of early Rush. Then there are also moments when Clutch seems to be the prevailing wind. Whatever you hear, though, you’ll like this jam. 
Forty-Five
The formula is wearing a little thin on the first half of this track. There’s a cool jam later in the piece that redeems it, though. There’s even a bit of a prog-like section in the later portions of this. 
Twenty-Four
A slower moving cut, the riff that drives this is meaty, but the whole thing is getting pulled down by the lack of variety by this point.
Two Times
The vocals on the closer go a long ways to alleviating the monolithic status and make this track one of the best on the set.
 
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