ALBUM REVIEW: Dopethrone ‘Hochelaga’

Totem Cat Records (April 2015)

Montreal’s finest sludge machine has churned up another blast of swampy menace, creating a top-notch album packed with the kind of mind-chewing, heavyweight crust-blues that have become their trademark.

Gargantuan riffs, filled with stoner glee and booze-fuelled rage, are blasted out by guitars so distorted that they are barely guitars anymore. Singer Vincent roars and gurgles about drugs and demons like a man possessed / caught in possession.

Hailing from Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, one of Montreal’s poorest areas, Dopethrone pour raw grit and heart into their music. Their dirty, NOLA-esque doom groove and lumbering stoner riffs are immensely powerful.

Not merely Electric Wizard wannabes, they have proven repeatedly to be outstanding composers in their own right and this album is another consistent and convincing showcase for their great talents. ‘Hochelaga’ is the band’s fourth album in just six years – time flies when you’re having fun, and Dopethrone are clearly enjoying themselves.

There aren’t too many surprises along the way, but every song hits hard, elbowing its way past the previous one to force its pounding misery into your face. And they just keep coming. Listening to ‘Hochelaga’ is like drowning in maple syrup – delicious, inevitable, deadly.


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