From the first glimpse of the album cover’s font, you know you’ll get contact high from Void Tripper. The Brazilian stoner doom and sludge project started in 2014, and they know exactly who they are. Hell, they even had an EP called Sabbath Worshipping Doom. But this genre always comes down to the riffs. Void Tripper’s guitars feel like they’re lightning rods for groovy goodness. They take familiar doom elements and scrape them through coffin soil, making them raw and dirty. After several splits and the aforementioned EP, Void Tripper are ready to share their debut LP, Dopefiend. Is the album name a possible nod to Acid Bath? Using the band photo as a context clue, I’m gonna bet my last green nug the answer is yes.
Opening slugger “Devil’s Reject” invokes Canadian cannabis-cannibals Dopethrone. Like those Canucks, they dip Electric Wizard’s fuzz in a vat of acid. “Burning Woods” opts for a sound that’s heavy on the stoner psych, and sidelines the caustic vocals for copious reverb. “Your mind is a blackboard. This is the eraser.” If you can picture that phrase escaping the lips of your metalhead friend as they exhale ganja smoke, this album is for you. That dialogue clip introduces “Hollow,” which taps back into the harshness of the opening track. “Satan and Drugs” starts with the album’s most robust riff, and stews in a cauldron of ’70s occult psychedelia. Album closer “Comatose” builds from crawling drum and bass to a hypnotizing jam. The song feels like it studied serial killers with Church of Misery’s And Then There Were None… album.
Listen to this album at full blast in a room full of smoke. Trip into the void and blast the early stream of Dopefiend below.