When a biography mentions that a band entered their 'Stoner Katakombs Of Doom' to write and record a new album, you can easily predict the genre you're going to hear. It will probably be classic doom, modern day sludge or some good ol' stoner rock. Maybe on some occasions noise or ambient could be some decent candidates. Yet, after listening to Venificae, the first full-length by Boar, all I can say is 'all of the above'.
Many doom bands, or stoner rock bands for that matter, have a very distinct own sound. Often this results in a pretty one-sided album. Boar, founded in Finland in 2009, do things a bit different. In stead of focusing on one or two 'stoner' genres, they like to mix things up. The result is an awesome overview of stoner styles over the decade. Opener 'Old Grey' is a pounding, noisy piece of doom metal, played with a grindcore-like intensity and loaded with fierce grunts. This song immediately takes a firm grip on the listener, determined to take him with Boar into those katakombs.
'Witch Woman', my absolute favourite on this album, is an epic piece of classic doom metal, almost similar to old Black Sabbath or Electric Wizard. The song drives on some awesome guitar riffing and incorporates both clean vocals and grunts. The clean vocals work best in my opinion, making Boar a convincing band. 'Sand' switches gears and quickly becomes an all-wretching dozer of bass and pounding rhythm. Needless to say that the variation on this album is tremendous. Each track is something completely different. But, dear reader, make no mistake. This stuff is heavy as f*ck.
Boar does make a lot of noise but it seems that they never lose the love for the riff. Every song is played with great intensity and written to meet perfection. Beyond the differences between the songs, it becomes clear that these Finns have been around in the stoner world for years, even before founding this band. In 'Trees' some psychedelic elements are incorporated and blended with a very seventies sounding doom sound. So if you're looking for an epic psychedelic doom journey, Venificae definitely is something for you. Let's hope Boar will soon leave their katakombs and enter hundreds of 'Intoxicated Altars Of Madness' (and by that I mean, let's get this show on the road...)