Original Heavy, Slow Psychedelic Sounds From Blue Heron

by delarue

Albuquerque metal band Blue Heron have influences as diverse as Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Acid King, but ultimately they don’t sound like any of the other many stoner metal bands kicking around the desert, metaphorically or otherwise. From their debut single – streaming at Bandcamp – it’s clear they go for slow tempos and let the songs breathe: no wasted notes here.

In the seven-minute A-side, Black Blood of the Earth, the band slowly and imperceptibly bring up the doomy chromatics out of slurry hypnotic riffs as bassist Steve Schmidlapp holds the center and drummer Ricardo Sanchez adds imaginative fills and flourishes. The second part of the song is a slowly drifting heavy psych jam, frontman Jadd Shickler whispering about a “cross-collateralized matrix” and other mysterious things as guitarist Mike Chavez prowls through acid blues.

With growly downtuned bass along with fuzztone and wah-wah grit from Chavez, the B-side, A Sunken Place is closer to Sleep. Fun fact: in addition to fronting the band, Shickler – who back in the day fronted popular mid-zeros stoner metal band Spiritu – runs Blues Funeral Recordings as well as Red Lead PR, devoted exclusively to promoting metal acts. Anyone wondering what his cred is should hear the single: the guy obviously lives for heavy sounds. It’s always tempting to plagiarize his press releases since the invariably nail what a band is all about.