Rating 8.5 out of 10.
Woodshed is the first full length by the pairing of former Hades, Non-Fiction and The Cursed guitarist Dan Lorenzo, and Ancient VVisdom singer Nathan Opposition. Much like the EP they released last year, Dan handles the guitars and bass, while Nathan sings and plays drums on the album. I’ve seen other reviews of this album, and it seems like they’re taking the easy way out by saying “sounds like Sabbath”, sure every doom influenced act sounds something like Sabbath, but this album goes beyond that for me. It shares a lot of the same qualities of the first three Danzig albums, a blend of punishing riffs, maniacal blues, and simplicity that helps make it that much more eerie. Again, who hasn’t Tony Iommi influenced? And although he’s been known for bluesy playing, this is more like “Heart Like A Wheel Blues” off of Seventh Star than anything on Sabotage. That’s not a knock, but the playing is more John Christ than it is Iommi, which I’m fine with. Nathan channel Glenn Danzig, same kind of cadence, without being a flat-out carbon copy, he’s doing things his way, which is very cool.
“Part Of My Plan” and “A Love So True” could have easily been part of those first four Danzig albums, these are spooky, and infectious at the same time. “Son Of Man” is probably the most Sabbath sounding track on the album, while “Watching The Fire” reminds me of River Runs Red era Life Of Agony. “Beyond The Cellar Door” harkens back to Alice In Chains at times, “One Way Out” has some serious groove to go along with the doom, at times it sounds like a certain band from Texas that was known for grooving. “Man’s Sin” is pure Dan Lorenzo riffage, this song, and the album, in general, reminds me of just what a monster player he is. He’s always put together memorable riffs, and “Man’s Sin” is one of those riffs that easily connect to some of those classic songs he’s recorded in the past. “Day Or Rest” is a combination of huge riffs and Nathan’s mesmerizing layered vocals before busting loose into aggressive overtones. “End It All” is a doomy procession that calls back once again to those early Danzig albums. “Pray For A Cure” is Lorenzo on acoustic guitar, and Opposition singing, no bass, and no drums, and it works. It isn’t a radio hit or a feelgood song, you can feel the desperation in the playing and in the voice, it is completely different from the rest of the album and it works. I mention all of these things that these songs remind me of, but make no doubt, it all sounds like Vessel Of Light. Sure they’re pulling from here, and there, but they’re making it their own.
One thing I will say, is the band’s label Argonauta, is one of the worst labels I have ever dealt with. I pre-ordered this album, you know, you do the pre-order and you figure you’ll get it the day it comes out right? Wrong, and don’t complain about it, because of course, you’re wrong. I was in contact with Dan over this, I paid the most expensive amount to have the EP shipped last year, and it still took a month to get to me from Italy which is only a few hours away. So for the pre-order of Woodshed, I paid the lower amount, thinking it would come relatively close to the release date, man was I wrong. Two weeks after the album’s release date I receive an email stating the album was about to be shipped. So I wrote Dan frustrated about this, and the labels response was that I had not paid enough for shipping, and that they’re a small label, and oh yeah, who did I think they were Amazon? They’re a small-minded label, their response is the typical bullshit I hear when someone from the Mediterranean region (Spain, Italy, Greece, France) fucks something up, can’t take responsibility and cast the blame on you. Maybe this is my weird way of thinking because I lived in the states and something like the better business bureau exists, and that doesn’t exist here, so businesses do this shit all the time. I’ve dealt with reputable record stores and labels that will contact you when there is a delay, and say things to the effect of “digital and cd are out this day, but we won’t receive the vinyl for another two weeks”. I would have been cool with that, not a fuck you, I have your money and I’ll ship shit out when I want. Because after complaining, the album was still sent out four days later. Next time I’ll wait for the album to pop up on Amazon, and not deal with these ham and eggers. Once I did receive the album, the jacket was ripped, as if someone had just pitched the album in as hard as they could, to the point where the paper ripped. That said, the label does not reflect the quality of the album.
Stand out tracks: Part Of My Plan, A Love So True, Son Of Man, Man’s Sin, Pray For A Cure
Check out my unboxing that was part of my first Mars Attacks Live Stream aka Signals From Mars: