Merchants of Air
exploring the edges of the musical universe
Hailing from Athens, Greece, Half Gramme Of Soma claims to be a heavy rock band. They released a full album in 2013 but went through several line-up changes ever since. Marche Au Noir can be seen as a new start for this quartet. According to the biography they do have a solid live-reputation in Greece and now they're aiming for the international stages and quite possibly the upcoming summer festivals. It might be worth to check them out when they play somewhere near where you live. These guys can rock.
The first two songs on this e.p. are solid heavy rock 'n roll songs. While 'Marche' mostly functions as a very promising introduction, 'Seeking Shelter' definately shows what Half Gramme of Soma is capable of. This is a very modern sounding mix between hard rock and stoner rock. It's also my personal favorite on this album. 'Hike-Hike' is a bit different. It seems to be influenced by folk or country music but still has that raw, heavy edge and the same scraping rock vocals as the other songs, reminding me a bit of nineties grunge bands. Often bands like Deftones or Tool come shinging through.
The longest song on this e.p. is the nine minute lasting 'Cage'. Besides the long duration this is also the slowest song on this effort. In that way you might call this a doom-rock song with some post-rock influences, especially in the extensive instrumental parts. 'Zero', the bonus track, is another uptempo rock song but it lacks the power and persuasiveness of the other songs. Nonetheless, in a live setting 'Zero' could actually be a very solid party starter.
In all, Marche Au Noir is a very decent e.p., mostly influenced by classic rock, grunge and stoner rock but clearly not limited to those genres. Half Gramme Of Soma prove that they know how to write good rock songs and how to play (and sing) them in a convincing way. There's a lot of power in their sound, usually driven on very strong guitar riffs. There's plenty of variation in tempo-shifts, clean and distorted passages. If they can maintain this line-up, write a few more awesome songs, they could be on their way to some of the big open-air stages that will appear all over Europe this summer...