Domadora – ‘Tibetan Monk’ Album Review

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Oh hell yes. ‘Tibetan monk’ opens liking a train crash, successive carriages piling into your reeling form in bursts of smoke, gouts of fire and a mass of twisted steel before the whole thing grinds to a halt and explodes vividly into the ten minute ‘Ziggy jam’, a track that sounds like Jimi Hendrix fried off his nuts on acid wailing against the rhythm section from Sleep. And that’s just the first two songs on this dense, smoke-filled cacophony of sonic bliss from Domadora.

OK, I’ve calmed down now. Sorry about that. Let’s start from the beginning – are we sitting comfortably? Good. So, Domadora are a trio dedicated to furthering the sonic carnage that lies in the riffs of Sabbath’s pioneering first two albums, the sonic excess of Karma To Burn’s instrumental stoner insanity and the dense, weed-soaked drama of sleep. Formed by Gui Omm (bass), Belwil (vocals and guitar) and augmented by Karim (drums) who joined later the band are not afraid to stretch their epic compositions over ten minutes, allowing the songs to breathe and grow, often pulling together riffs so monumental in scope that you’re left with a contact high after a mere few minutes of exposure. Whilst the title track eases you in to the album with all the subtlety of the aforementioned train crash, the second track, the ten minute exercise in excess that is ‘Ziggy jam’, drags you kicking and screaming through the realms of doom and stoner before racing hectically to its conclusion with not so much as a muted yell in terms of vocals. Even longer is ‘Nairoya’, a song that opens within the red velvet room found in the Twin Peaks dreamland, the guitar trickling down like rain drops over the sultry, sensual bass and somnambulant percussion. It’s a far cry from the sizzling leads and blazing riffs of ‘Ziggy jam’, but as the song progresses so the solos grow ever more insistent until the song finally catches light, the guitars growing ever more distorted, the percussion gaining the force of a bulldozer – slow but progressing with crushing inevitability – and the song as a whole simply rolls straight over you, leaving you dazed and staring at the stars floating dreamily just above your head.

A much shorter effort, ‘chased and caught’ is but a mere four minutes in length, kicking off like a relic from ‘Paranoid’ and evoking a smoky late night atmosphere when, from out of nowhere, vocals suddenly appear pulling the song in a more QOTSA direction. It transpires Belwil has a fine voice which perfectly serves the mood and feel of the music and the track forms a welcome bridge to the mighty ‘the oldest man on the left’, a thirteen minute homage to the immense power of Kyuss shot through with the improvisational feel of Miles Davis and the deft bluesy guitar work of Eric Clapton. It’s a stunning highpoint of the album and an essential track for all stoner fans to have in their collection. ‘Domadora jam’ feels relatively svelte at a mere eight minutes (although in truth run times cease to have any serious meaning when the mood is this good and this varied as most tracks feel at least half their stated length) but succeeds in kicking serious amounts of ass with a slinky bass line, epic soloing (that surely must have been played atop a mountain) and a pounding beat that sounds like an entire army on the march. That leaves only ‘wild animal skin’ to see the album out, which it does in fine style.

Here on SonicAbuse we make much of records that take you on a journey. As much as we love records that you can stick on and rock out to for brief periods, or favourite albums are always going to be those that simply demand you play them from first to last, often causing you to give up whatever else you had planned to do just to sit and listen. ‘Tibetan monk’ is one of those – an album designed to be played without distraction from first to last, not dissected and wasted away on some iPod or mobile phone, but played in full… preferably on vinyl. It is a sonic trip. A journey you take with the band and, whilst they lead, it is your imagination that will determine where you go. Like a great book or piece of artwork, ‘Tibetan monk’ demands you give as much of yourself as it returns and in doing so it makes you feel a part of the wondrous noise the band are  making. Take the trip – track down Domadora today, you won’t regret it.

No excuses – no escape: Check out our embedded player and see how awesome Domoadora are for yourself:

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