Acid King III

San Franciscan stoner-doom royalty Acid King certainly aren’t in a hurry to release albums. Their first full-length since 1999’s Busse Woods, III (despite six releases, this is indeed only their third LP) immediately gets down to business with "2 Wheel Nation,” possibly a thematic nod to the motorcycle-rider art of 2001’s split with Clearlight. The tune bubbles over with syrupy riffage like Goatsnake in slow-mo, as the bass demolition is handled by former Obsessed linchpin Guy Pinhas. To a trained ear, drummer Joey Osbourne is a bit sloppy in places, like in his less than metronomic pace in "Heavy Load,” but the song is so smothering and Black Sabbath-like in stature that the listener is immediately lost in front-woman Lori S.’s sinuous guitar phrases and echoing vocals. "Bad Vision” and "Into the Ground” are inbred relatives of Electric Wizard, and the 12-minute "War of the Mind” is truly an exercise in Sleep-inspired focus. The shorter "On To Everafter” follows the same formula, but the album closer "Sunshine and Sorrow” finds Lori S. hitting her highest vocal registers and revving some pedal effects for a welcomed change of pace. Still retaining the doomy charm of their 1994 eponymous debut EP on Sympathy, III is another stomp forward and, with Billy Anderson on the mixing boards, a vital entry in the stoner canon. (Small Stone)