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The Well – Pagan Science

Pagan Science represents everything I love in the doom metal realm.

Psychedelic doom metal band The Well has been on a roll recently. They made the theme song and were featured on the motorcycle reality series Ride with Norman Reedus, they’re off the heels of a US tour with Mondo Drag and Crypt Trip, and recently released their sophomore album, Pagan Science on Riding Easy Records. Witnessing them on that tour converted me a into huge fan. Ever since that show I’ve had their two albums on repeat. Pagan Science represents everything I love in the doom metal realm.

Right off the bat, The Well excel in the vocal department, which many bands of their ilk fall short on. Guitarist Ian Graham has a smooth yet rough-around-the-edges voice that fits the bluesy tone, while bassist Lisa Alley wields a polished, gentle voice. Either member could front the band alone, but the harmonies that the duo makes bring their music to another level. Such a unique sound, almost like a third voice. The album art is peculiar as well. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but I don’t mind a bit of the esoteric as long is it piques my interest.

This album has riffs galore, something to be expected from the RidingEasy label. They definitely take a hint from the Master of Reality-era Black Sabbath, but copycats they are not. The blues is apparent in their songwriting, as well as some jazz influence at parts.  The opening track “Black Eyed Gods” hits the ground running, with a bouncy main riff and catchy elongated vocals. A healthy amount of reverb is used of course to give it that extra psychedelic punch. “Skybound” continues the excellence, with a soaring chorus and spacey lyrics, which never get old. “Drug from the Banks” is an interesting one, slowing it down and getting a bit creepy. It feels like a good tune to walk through a graveyard with. “Choir of the Stars” is lonely-feeling instrumental. Sad but dignified. “Brambles” takes a page straight out of Om and other mantra-doom bands like Zaum. The monastic-esque chants, unrelenting groove, and the multi-layered harmonies along with spiritual themes make for a an exotically delicious number.

The Well marry doom metal and psychedelia flawlessly. None of the tracks are more than five minutes long, so they don’t overstay their welcome. Each song is distinct, yet there is a continuity in their sound. I do like at times when doom songs are stretched out, but I like this full-steam-ahead approach as well. Some say that rock is dead or has gotten stale. I would have to disagree because of albums like Pagan Science. Metal in particular has matured and branched out in recent years and has not only been kept alive, but is flourishing, largely because of the internet. It’s all out there, you just need to put in some effort and look. Needless to say, The Well is a band to look out for.

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Tracklist:
1. Black Eyed Gods
2. Forecast
3. Skybound
4. A Pilgrimage
5. Drum from the Banks
6. Byzantine
7. One Nation
8. Choir of the Stars
9. Brambles
10. I Don’t Believe
11. Guinevere (Bonus Track)

The Well is:
Ian Graham – Guitar / Vocals
Lisa Alley – Bass / Vocals
Jason Sullivan – Drums

the well

More The Well:
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Spencer
About Spencer (121 Articles)
Spencer Maxwell is a filmmaker and devoted metalhead. His favorite genres are heavy and doom metal, with his top bands being Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Candlemass, Pentagram, and Saint Vitus.

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