Sound — 10
In keeping with the "Stoner Metal" Genre, and in general the Southern Lord music label, you would expect Weedeater's first Long Player to be characterized by slow, down-tuned Sabbathian Riffs and almost-scary vocals bathed in an atmosphere of pure doom; and boy, does it ever deliver. The riffs on the title track, "Wizard Fight," and "Weedmonkey," in particular sound like what Tony Iommi would have played had Black Sabbath clenched a particularily strong bag of Sweet Leaf and developed an extreme appetite for cough syrup. The longer songs, such as "For Evan's Sake" are almost reminiscent of early Earth (Think Earth 2) in how slowly they unfold and how crushingly heavy they sound. While everything done here has been done before, what really sets this album apart from other contemporary Doom is the conviction with which the band plays the songs, their commitment to preserving the Southern music tradition, (look no further than their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimmie Back My Bullets" if you need proof of their Dixie roots) and most of all, the album's production by Steve Albini (of the bands Big Black and Shellac, among others). On headphones, right when the first track begins, you might not be able to tell if the guitar is simply ripping apart your speakers or if it is splitting your head open: it really sounds that devastating. The result is a loud and sludgy album that sounds absolutely huge and becomes, at times, disorienting, much like the effects of the plant that is the band's namesake.
Lyrics — 8
In general, the lyrics are the typical apocalyptic, nearly-comedic wizard-and-magic-and-weed variety that these sorts of bands usually have, but they are particularly fitting given the overwhelming and hazy production of the album. The singer's cough syrup and spliff diet comes through in his delivery, and he sounds like a growling behemoth. All in all, the singing compliments the other sounds on the album, but like most metal singing it is probably the weakest part of the package. That being said, the singer sounds particularly brutal for this kind of thing so I would call it better than most.
Overall Impression — 10
As far as Stoner Metal goes, Weedeater proves itself to be near the top of the genre. Along with contemporaries Electric Wizard, I'd say that they are about as heavy-sounding as music gets. This album has become one of my favorites, particularly the first 3 tracks and "Weedmonkey," because it is one of the most powerful recordings I've ever heard, and gets about as close to metal perfection (See "Master of Reality") as anything else out there right now. What the album lacks in inventive lyrical content it more than makes up for with crushing riffs and sheer heavyness. This is destined to be a classic.