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Review: Karma To Burn – Slight Reprise (Album)

Karma To Burn have brought their classic 1996 album back to life without any meddling vocalists, check out our review inside!

Band: Karma To Burn
Release: Slight Reprise (Album)
Release Date: Out Now

Karma To Burn is comprised of three exceptionally talented musicians. They’ve been kicking out heavy grooves and bulldozing riffs since 1996, and they’ve been doing it without all the hassle of a vocalist. Who needs ’em, anyway?

Before we get into the gristle of this review, for those of you who don’t know who Karma To Burn are, they originally debuted as a three piece instrumental stoner-rock outfit. Before long, they had Roadrunner Records‘ attention, but it came with a price – if they wanted the label, they had to get a singer on board, so they recruited a random shmuck and went after the cash. One album later, the original trio kicked singer Jay Jarosz out and returned to what they had always wanted to be.

‘Slight Reprise’ is that first album if the band had been allowed to record it as they wanted – a complete lack of vocals, save for one track featuring Kyuss John Garcia. This is Karma To Burn, the band and the original album, completely unfiltered, pouring out heavy bass grooves and nonstop, deliciously indulgent riffs from track to track. It’s pointless naming them individually – their instrumentals are numbered rather than named and this review is going to end up looking like the world’s heaviest game of bingo otherwise – but rest assured this is stoner/desert/groove metal of the highest order, even if you’re not a fan of the strictly instrumental band, it’s worth checking out, even if you just want to compare it to the original album.

‘Two Times’, the only track to star the voice of John Garcia, might be an extreme contrast with the rest of the album but it’s just as good, even if it does just make you appreciate how great the band are by themselves. Not for one second do any of the tracks sound like they’re ‘missing’ vocals or some other influence, it’s headbanging, air-guitar inducing fun beyond worries like lyrics or image. The stomping drums and titanic riffs speak for themselves. It’s an album that can be stuck on and fully trusted to keep you hooked from start to finish without your hand creeping towards the ‘skip’ button. If you don’t like instrumental rock, or just don’t know where to start, there’s no finer way to change your mind.

10/10

Reviewer: Laurence Stark

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