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A Tree of Signs - Salt (Raging Planet)

By: David E. Gehlke

[7/10] No guitars to be found on Salt, the debut EP from Portuguese/Swedish doom fiends Tree of Signs, meaning, the bass is done Cliff Burton style with maximum overdrive. Only in Sabbath-styled metal could this be possible, although there probably are some adventurous types in grind or d-beat thrash pondering how to make this work. It probably would on some level – the guitars are generally just a big wall of indistinguishable sound in those fields anyway.

Salt is aimed directly at the burgeoning Blood Ceremony/Devil’s Blood crowd thanks to singer/keyboardist V-Kaos. She hoists the ethereal doomstress role like she’s supposed to, as in, she’s mystical, mysterious, and so forth. Without the aid of guitars, she has some sure-fire standout moments, like on “Red Lune, Sol and Sea” where it’s just her, a china cymbal, and bass droning. Production is predictably ragged, with the drums helmed in with echo on the snare to go with noisy cymbals and tuneless toms. Therefore, Salt is the garage rock take on occult rock, something both Blood Ceremony and The Devil’s Blood wouldn’t even give second thought to.

The absence of guitars and the inclusion of a female singer is what A Tree of Signs has to work off of thus far, but it’s readily apparent they’re still feeling their way around things. Hey, it’s hard to make bass guitar sound convincing.

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