Review: Hadewijch – Herbal Noise

Hadewijch – Herbal Noise (Electric Valley Records)

Review by Steve Thomas-Green

This is one of those releases that it doesn’t matter what the biography says, you never know what to expect and everyone will interpret things differently.

The premise, is that this is Stoner/Doom that steers away from clichés… it’s also a near 20 minute piece that was recorded live in the studio. So expect an extended jam session with a certain amount of experimentation… maybe…

After the feedback enriched opening, this soon settles into a chilled out number, nicely laidback… which I guess works well with the title of Herbal Noise…  it’s a little bit like an extended Neil Young workout, but with a Doomy edge and without Mr Young’s lead guitar work.

Just past the 7 minute mark, the pace slows to a crawl and the tone become funereal. And almost 2 minutes later, we get the first taste of vocals… which are a mix of spiritual chanting and someone stoned out of their head…

I was now expecting things to liven up, but the band once again find their groove and drift off into an hypnotic jam… and it’s not until over 13 minutes in that the band hit overdrive and the jam reaches an almighty peak.

I discovered music in the 70s, so this fits in very nicely with the music I grew up with. I’d say Neil Young and to a lesser degree, Hawkwind, are the two artists that come to mind when playing this.

It’s a superb free-flowing jam that mainly just chills you out. I love the formula and I hope that Hadewijch continue down this path, because it really works… and I’ve not smoked a joint since 1993!!!!!

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