Subrosa Strega

Eerie and haunting — two parts raw intensity and another two spellbinding mesmerism — Subrosa’s I Hate Records debut is a doom-y stoner rock anomaly. From the uncommon resonance of the electric violin to the alternating wrench/caress of female vocals and a gut-throbbing low-end drone, Strega weaves decades of blues, rock, psychedelia, punk, goth and metal into a tight 41 minutes of dark magic. The record starts out with full-on momentum but even when the sonic onslaught lets up the tension doesn’t unwind. Tracks like "Isaac” or "Go Down Moses,” with their folk balladry and spooky harmonies, match the heaviness of the songs around them, carrying their own weight in intellect, emotion and soul-drenching atmosphere. Even the relatively lo-fi aesthetic just adds to the record’s power. Strega isn’t so much an album of songs as it’s an integrated musical narrative, reflecting the world from a not-so-ordinary angle and saying far more than is captured in its words. (I Hate)