Scott 'Wino' Weinrich is a man who over the last 35 years has helped define heavy music, starting with Maryland's doom-y Obsessed and L.A. St. Vitus and now culminating with this fine return to form, Premonition 13. They'll be opening for Sleep this weekend and they're streaming their full album 13 (on Volcom Entertainment) now at premonition13.com.
Wino and guitarist Jim Karow have been jamming for almost two decades, hashing out the basis of what would eventually become 13. The authority and craftsmanship that the two possess are obvious: Premonition 13 proves that sometimes it's better to leave it to the experts and sit back and take notes. In a scene full of bands that are attempting to do what Wino has done for decades, 13 is here to show people what's what.
Naturally, it's everything one would expect from a Wino record, but 13 does have its twists and quirks. The album easily slides from heavy riffs to colorful abstract melodies, and the opening track "B.E.A.U.T.Y." is an introduction at cinematic scale. It leads the listener from dreamlike shadowy guitar work (a bit like that of God Speed You Black Emperor) to heavy riffage driven by Wino's guitar work and Mathew Clark's huge drum sound. The EBow prelude that announce into "La Hechicera de la Jeringa"--translated, "The Sorceress of the Syringe"--let you know you're about to encounter something legendary, and indeed "La Hechicera" is the backbone of 13. Smack right in the middle of the tracklist, it holds up the entire album.
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There's a heavy Sabbath vibe through out, until you reach "Deranged Rock N' Roller", which forces you to stop your half-time head bang and drop the roach to grab a bottle of Jack and pick it up double time. The song chugs along like a Harley riding down the interstate. This boost of adrenaline is an interesting change up in an already solid album.
Clocking in just under forty-five minutes, this record will give your neck a work out. With intricate guitar work and a rhythm section strong enough to match a guitar phenom like Wino, 13 chugs along effortlessly. It's a record that you can easily get lost in if you don't take those few seconds in between tracks to refocus your dilated eyes.