(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
From the recesses of southern Connecticut comes the first official release from the stoner metal trio OWL MAKER, their “Paths Of The Slain” EP.
The band was formed in late 2016 by longtime friends Jessie May (bassist) and Chris Anderson (drummer), who soon recruited Vestal Claret’s Simon Tuozzoli (guitars / vocals) into the order of the OWL MAKER. The band has been rapidly generating buzz which should now explode with the release of this EP back on March 16th.
Dark, stoner-infused and clearly metallic in nature, the 6 songs of the EP provide a diverse sonic mission statement from the trio. There’s tinges of a progressive bent to things as well, once heard or experienced here, they establish OWL MAKER as quite a unique entity.
Things launch with the high bar-setting “Ride With Aileen“, an ode to Florida’s hitchhiking serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. Laced with fast-paced, boogie-intense riffery and tight-knit drumming, the song reaches near thrash metal intensities at points.
That W.F.O. sense of purpose takes a relentless hold in the next track, “99“, a raging roundabout of fiery guitars and spiraling rhythms. A nice melodic break in the midst of things also allows for the discovery of the vocal range being generated by Tuozzoli too.
The magnetizing, enthralling audio of cuts like “Freya’s Chariot” and “Witches” keeps things walking on the wilder side of heavy metal. Each ratchets out quickened tempos with dizzying effect, occasionally augmented with some cool synth-based flavoring too.
For me, two of the stand-out selections served up here are the respect-worthy songs “Mashiara” and the EP-ending “Lady Stoneheart“. “Mashiara” is a riveting, but bit more mellower composition, yet one where the trio truly shine in my opinion. They weave an intricate tapestry of incredible music with haunting vocals, and the execution of the song is stellar.
The latter, “Lady Stoneheart“, dissolves into a bit of proggy doom at first but soon escalates into a semi-furious state of melodic thrash. The drumming on this number is out of this world, then there are the contrasts of intense playing met with the abrupt throttling down of things. Powerful.
OWL MAKER make an intriguing, lasting mark with the “Paths Of The Slain” EP. It is a unique sonic deluge of aural refinery, one quite far-reaching and fundamentally different than much of what has come out recently. Stream it via the Bandcamp embed in this review or head over [HERE} directly where it is available for purchase.