Every once-in-awhile, you come across an album that is meant to be heard on a record player. From the moment you drop the needle, the warmth of the music consumes you and everything seems right in the world. This feeling is prevalent with Windhand's latest album, 'Soma.' The doom and sludge that coats 'Soma' sounds near-perfect when listening to the vinyl edition.

For fans of sludge rock, there hasn't been a thicker sound in 2013 than what Windhand has created with this album. From start to finish, Windhand's fuzzy, sludgy, gloomy metal makes for a heavy concoction that can't help but give you memories of old-school Black Sabbath. And somehow, they make it catchy.

With 'Soma,' fans need to listen to the record in its entirety in one sitting. The vinyl edition obviously lends itself to this notion. "I think the format itself is just so fragile that it immediately requires more attention and respect from the consumer," bassist Parker Chandler tells Noisecreep in an exclusive chat. "Ideally, that feeling will carry over into the music contained on the record." Windhand's understanding of vinyl is obvious, not just in Chandler's attitude toward the format, but in the offerings the band has made to its fans. With 'Soma,' in addition to the standard double-LP, Windhand have also pressed the record on 180-gram black, blood red, deep purple and electric blue wax.

"Vinyl is a collector's market," says the bassist. "As an artist/collector, it's fun to look at all the different colors." Chandler and company fully understand that the world of vinyl is about more than just the music; it's about the experience created around the music.

Another part of the experience -- aside from the plethora of wax options -- is the cover art. The cover of 'Soma' is at first glance simple, but upon further review it is truly terrifying. It's bleak, dark and unsettling, much like the tunes that are pressed on the records. "We came across the cover image while laying out the art for 'Reflection of the Negative' [previous split LP], and it just spoke to us. It's eerie without being in your face and that's what we liked about it," explains Chandler. As you open the heavy-duty gatefold jacket, the eeriness that the bassist mentions only gets amplified.

If you're looking for one of the heaviest and thickest albums of the year, look no further than Windhand's 'Soma.' With old-school sludge rock mixed together with modern hooks and catchy riffs, 'Soma' is best heard spinning around on your record player. Don't hesitate to run out and pick up one of the many killer pressings of 'Soma' right now.

Parker Chandler's Vinyl Breakdown
Current Favorite Vinyl: Grime – ‘Deterioriate’
All-Time Favorite Vinyl: The Burning Witch Discography Box Set


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