Spiritu / Village of Dead Roads Human Failures

Two of the finest riff rockers from opposite sides of America convene to give the old doom bell a few hearty tugs. New Mexico’s Spiritu, starring front-man Jadd Schickler (head honcho of MeteorCity Records), spurred wild interest upon the release of their 2002 self-titled debut, but these four new cuts blow said album out of the water. "The Ten of Seven Bell” has a mighty groove on the Kyuss side of Dozer — and Schickler’s belting out lung-deep notes like it was 1974 — while "Objects of Desire” sounds a bit like Abdullah with fluid soloing and Schickler’s more restrained vocals. "Latitude” is introspective with more soulful vocals and slightly doomier (but no less groovy) chords, and "Throwback” flips the switch again like prime Monster Magnet with a dash of Sleep. Erie, PA’s Village of Dead Roads bring the gloom in sundry shades of black. "Descendents of the Dendrites” combines Crowbar’s lumbering thumps and Pro-Pain’s muscular throb for an atypical verse/chorus/verse ground-quake. Guitarist/vocalist Doug Corey cranks his gravelly pipes back to Schickler tone on "Skin Prison” for a Spiritu-like tune. "Women of Ill Repute” joins the Reverend Bizarre-esque classic doom to a Hawg Jaw-like sludge swing, complete with soap opera voice samples, and the 11-minute "Divine Mistake” mixes all previous formulas for the big finish. Both Spiritu and VoDR ably bring the noise on this solid split and duly wave the freak flag of American neo-doom. (Meteorcity)