Some tuba drone from half of ORE.
The area of rock that straddles stoner, doom, country and psych rock is a small but very much loved genre. Influenced by the likes of Dylan Carlson (Earth) and Barn Owl, Goryl successfully wears these influences without sounding a clone. The Father Of Witches takes the approach of a lone guitar player and pushes it further: one or two riffs at most are explored to their very limit. The opening track seems to segue between the slow and sludgy riffs and open-string psych-country, arpeggiated chords rested on before moving back to power chords. Despite it being the weakest track on the album - having too thin a tone - it's still interesting, but the following tracks show how much a single instrument can really do. Cathedral Demons is seven minutes of one progression played continuously and is by far the best track on the album. The heavy, almost metal-without-distortion sound that Earth's Hex had on tracks like Railord is here; a punishing booming that won't intrude enough to detract from the otherwise quite relaxed atmosphere, rather giving it a menacing feeling. It's all very organic and if I were to see him play live, I wouldn't expect it to sound any different. It feels like a live recording even though it clearly isn't and this rawness, this pureness is what sets his work aside from other albums in the genre. There's a naturalness which allows me to properly absorb into it without the usual soundscapes and endless pedal boards which bands like Barn Owl rely on so much. Tracks like Old Demon Blues would improve greatly from simple percussion in places but this is forgivable because it's only really a problem when a choke or stop happens; when the drone is there as it usually is, it needs not anything but the guitar. Goryl certainly isn't for everyone, but if you like the sort of endless looping riffing that bands like Fulci do, this will tickle your fancy no end. It does mine.