`Father Light` is the fifth studio album from Ukrainian prog-doom-grunge trio, Stoned Jesus, was written as the first half of a double LP and recorded just before the war at Spivaki Records, Ukraine. The studio was occupied by the Russians from March 2022, so work on the second LP was put on hold. However, in September 2022 it was liberated by Ukrainian Army during its unprecedented counter-offensive, so the journey that follows Father Light will soon continue.
The band was formed by Igor Sydorenko in Kyiv in 2009 and now has Igor on lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars and occasional organ, Dmytro Zinchenko on drums, percussion, and backing vocals and Sergii Sliusar on bass and backing vocals.
Title track `Father Light` leads us in with initially a strummed acoustic guitar and Igor`s deep resonating vocals. It may have been me but i`m sure I heard the sound of birds twittering in the background along with some traffic noise. Towards the end there`s a rumbling sound that joins then kind of envelopes the number ending abruptly with a noise akin to the ping on a microwave oven. We head out on a stoner / doom quest with `Season of the Witch` which weighs in at over eleven minutes in length but doesn`t feel overly long as we ride along on this fairly hypnotic trace like trip. It does pick up a bit of pace around the midway point with a nigh on drum and guitar riff jam session before stuttering back to it`s previous path.
`Thoughts and Prayers` to me had a bit of a swagger about it and became a captivatingly mesmerising foot tapper as it developed with vocals that share notions and opinions on what I took to be the religion of the internet. In the latter part we enjoy some cracking heavy bass, pounding drums and guitar chords as each of this trio get their chance to display their musical chops. There was something about `Porcelain` that was quite edgy but not unnerving but enthralling and really drew me in. A bit like porcelain itself in that it has or projects a delicate splendour and beauty, a shimmering elegance so to speak.
`CON` races along with some intricate guitar chord tones and an almost chant like sing a long chorus refrain on this thumping blistering swaying voyage. The album closes out with `Get What You Deserve` and it’s a soporific and at times bewitching listen. Several of the lead and bass guitar passages are quite transfixing and spellbinding and I felt myself drifting off as the composition became somewhat psychedelic.
I must admit ii was a bit stupefied and dazed when the album closed out as it really had me in its intense musical incantation for its duration. It`s not re-inventing the wheel here but if you want around forty five minutes of unadulterated hypnotic metal to take you away from your day tom day issues and concerns look no further than Stoned Jesus and `Father Light`.
I can`t wait for the second half to come and i`m sure you will too.
Rating 8.5 / 10