I am a sucker for stoner metal these days. Not only are the band names particularly appealing, but that swampy, bass-laden groove sinks right through into your bones. One Inch Giant are a stoner metal / rock group from Gothenburg, Sweden, and we all know quality metal oozes out from that city as if Kyuss was fiddling with the drinking water. It’s no surprise that One Inch Giant’s debut album, Malva,
The opening track, “Ripe and Bold”, hits you immediately with southern-style rock, and the album moves seemlessly from strength to strength – “Fur of the Lord” has a more classic doom style, and “Train of Lies” – my favorite track – slows things down a bit, while still retaining that bone-shaking heaviness. The closer, “Feed the Fire” perfectly demonstrates One Inch Giant’s strength – simple, groove-laden riffs layered with stylishly clean stoner vocals. The whole album exudes swampy melodies that evokes but doesn’t imitate the band’s influences – Kyuss, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath.
The word groove has already come up a few times in this review, but when talking about One Inch Giant, it bears repeating. Groove, groovity groove groove. These guys have it. And they’ve got the other element needed to make stoner metal a success – a decent vocalist. Filip Åstrand’s clean, crooning vocals drip with a groove all of their own.
The production on Malva is very clean – perhaps too clean for the style of the music. This is particularly noticable on the track “Feed the Fire”, which I think would sound a bit better with a more echoey, swampy production. On most of the other tracks, however, particularly “Train of Lies” and “Fur of the Lord”, this cleaner production really allows the riffs and vocal tone to stand out.
And, kudos goes to the artist responsible for the cover of this album – Emma Ekstam. I love her style – folk arty, but hyperdetailed and bold.
If you’re looking for an album laden with heavy blues-inspired rock, more groove than you should legally be allowed to fit into a six-song album, and some head-banging good riffs, Malva would be an excellent choice.