Sound: Shrinebuilder is a phenomenal supergroup comprised of members Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Al Cisneros (Sleep, Om), Dave Crover (Melvins), and Scott Weinrich (The Obsessed, Probot). It is an excellent example of a doom/stoner metal album, complete with both exciting parts and drone-ish chill-out breaks. You can clearly see each member's influence on the band, between Kelly's screams, Cisneros' wah-ed out bass, the chanted words of Cisneros and Weinrich, and the tight, yet simplistic drumming of Crover.
The guitar tone, for lack of a better term, is delicious. It is heavily distorted, with lots of low end, and a little bit. It compliments the style of the music really well, and manages not to get too muddy. The bass matches in most parts, but there are the trademark wah-heavy breaks like in "The Architect" which are really something on their own, very powerful and moving. The drums usually are made of somewhat simple phrases, but they flow with the guitars, making good transitions between parts of the song, and there is a nice little amount of showing off in that category.
Shrinebuilder has become a definite album/artist to listen to for anyone who is interested and enjoys doom metal. They generated an enormous amount of hype over the Internet just after the line-up was announced, and now there are many people (me included) who are incredibly eager for another release by them.
01. Solar Benediction - 8:44
02. Pyramid Of The Moon - 7:35
03. Blind For All To See - 7:27
04. The Architect - 5:56
05. Science Of Anger - 9:25
Produced by: the Deaf Nephews (Crover & Kasai)
Scott "Wino" Weinrich vocals, guitar
Scott Kelly vocals, guitar
Al Cisneros vocals, bass guitar
Dale Crover - drums, backing vocals
Toshi Kasai - keyboards // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics in Shrinebuilder seem to be taken from the point of view of a person who has had many faults recently, and they are looking up for hope. It's hard not to get a religious vibe from some of the songs, and they could be a release from troubles in the past ("stirring the blood of my fathers pain"). It seems to be the usual stuff which comes along with doom and stoner metal, and it's also what the music calls for stylistically, so they fit very nicely. There is quite a bit of emphasis in the lyrics, but it is diverted into some different styles, which can produce some unexpected vibes and impressions.
What I really liked in Shrinebuilder was how the lyrics were delivered, with four different vocalists, it was unexpected who was going to sing when at first. I think that Kelly and Cisneros really shine on this album, and it's very apparent because they weren't afraid to use their style of singing. This allowed them to deliver the best performance possible that they could, and it came out brilliantly. I was rather pleased with the amount of talent showcased by the vocalists. // 10
Overall Impression: Shrinebuilder depicts a perfect blend of The Melvins, Om, Sleep, and Neurosis, while throwing in some more defining material. There is some phenominal guitar work in there, blended with some powerful bass, moving vocals and drums that are like the perfect glue. It's like a best of from all of the artists, but the songs are blended and improved even more.
I absolutely love this album, I can't find any part of it that I don't like. Each song has it's own character and helps complete the album as a whole. They work well both listening to the whole album all at once, or if a song comes up on shuffle. Completely wonderful album. Every instrument shines through with a lot of class, and they are accompanied by some of the finest singing to be found in doom metal.
Shrinebuilder is a must have for any fan of Om, Neurosis, Sleep, or Melvins, or someone who is interested in modern doom metal. It is a standout album of the year, and in my opinion, the whole decade. This album has the power to both mystify and crush you in every song, and it deserves many proper listens. // 10