Diesto: For Blood or Water

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Diesto: For Blood or Water
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Diesto: For Water or Blood
Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Eolian Empire
August 27th, 2013
Release length: 47:59
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As the Eolian Empire rises, it appears to slowly be building its own niche. The label recently acquired Portland, Oregon’s Diesto, a Doom/Stoner Metal group with four well received, though highly overlooked full-length albums. After wrapping up their deal with Seventh Rule Records, they find themselves on this growing titan to issue their fifth effort, For Water or Blood. Does this forty-eight minute offering, sprawled out across seven tracks, enough to make a bigger mark in the Metal community, or is this one that will be overlooked, but for good reason?

“Trail to the Sun” starts the album off with a guitar performance that hints at a bit of Shoegaze before moving into some slower paced Stoner Metal material. The music itself here is really strong, and in many ways a bit entrancing, a feeling not limited to this one song. While the rougher vocal style suits the thicker, slightly restrained audio quality, the cleaner parts are really off key with the music, and make the extended cut a little hard to navigate until the end nears and the music becomes somewhat richer. “Adrift at Sea” gives you a bit of a nautical vibe to the music similar to some earlier Mastodon, and also finds some clean singing in use. Unlike “Trail to the Sun,” they don’t seem resselftricted, find it in sync with the deeper performance that better reflects the rest of the material.

“Edge of the World” pulls the deeper bass to the forefront, creating a crushing experience with some dismal bridges, and a rhythm that feels like a march to your own demise. This one benefits greatly from concentrating on the rougher approach with some echoes that beef up the helpless atmosphere, especially when layered near the five minute mark just before the solid guitar solo. Then there’s “Sirens,” where the two singing styles mix together quite well. This one is a lot slower all around, but does have some powerful material behind the less heated vocals. The second half does a lot of shifting between faster, richer material, and a Jazz-like bass solo about six minutes in, helping to keep the eight and a half minute length engaging without resorting to filler or padding.

For Water or Blood starts off rather rough, and much of “Trail to the Sun” can actually make you want to hit the stop button and walk away. But, if you make it past that odd little start, you will find plenty of heavy material that won’t exactly have you on edge or banging your head along, but definitely will find it bobbing along to the downtrodden, hopeless, and trance-educing riffs and drumming Diesto assaults you with. The mixture of Doom Metal paces with Stoner Metal riffs is a perfect combination, and become even more intimidating thanks to the rougher vocals and some echo effects they carry. If this sounds like your thing, then For Water or Blood will be a solid album you’ll get plenty of use out of.

01. Trail to the Sun – 6:56
02. Edge of the World – 6:48
03. The Road – 7:00
04. Sirens – 8:30
05. Adrift at Sea – 5:42
06. Dirty River – 8:14
07. Arrows – 4:49
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Diesto
Diesto

Digital review copy of this release provided by Eolian Empire via Earsplit PR.