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Lucky Funeral: Self-Titled
Stoner/Sludge Metal
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Stoner metal in its many forms has never been one of my favorite genres of heavy metal. I also thought stoner metal was past and passe these days. With the arrival of Greece's Lucky Funeral debut work on my desk, I'm obviously mistaken. For a first work, 'Lucky Funeral' is really strong stuff if you're into this style. It's all here: down-tuned guitars, heavy riffs, a trudging through the mud rhythm section, and muted guitar solos. Lucky Funeral adds a little something extra in the vocal department as Mikebass varies through standard guttural grunting to metal screaming to near dirty vocals. Their music has strong roots in Black Sabbath, but most times they're much faster. The Sabbath influence is strongest on 'My Dealer Is The Best' (funny title) and 'Stay Away.'

But Lucky Funeral is more than just sludging through the stoner metal bog. They're able to mix it up with some other unique influences. 'Blissful' has an almost funky groove and psychedelic feel blended with the stoner style sounding like the bastard child of Sabbath and The Doors. 'Bleeding Thoughts' still has the whole stoner/sludge thing going on, but comes across more as severely down-tuned traditional heavy metal. I have to give a nod to the instrumental 'Babis The Stoned Cat' because it's 100 percent pure stoner rock, and I simply love the title.

Again, stoner metal is not my thing. But if it's your favorite genre, then you should pick up Lucky Funeral forthwith. They're a solid band with some interesting material.

In Short

Greece's Lucky Funeral could possibly refresh the stagnant stoner/sludge metal genre. Tons of heavy riffs mixed with melody and some expected influences will keep you trudging through mud.

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