Sunday, February 14, 2010

What a week...


(from their record label...) Shepherd was founded during the depressive and cold winter of 2001/2002 out of four individuals who share their fascination and love for true classic slow moving rock. Egos have been kept outside and the guys started to play. So the story goes: rehearsals went pretty good, gigs followed. Among building a fanbase around their hometown Berlin they slayed crowds at 2002's acclaimed Stoned From The Underground festival as well as on tour with the Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley's drone outfit Sunn O))) and top-notch noise heroes Isis.
After the critically acclaimed debut Laments (2003), the guys locked themselves in the studio and recorded nine tracks that demonstrate a huge step forward and a new direction. Shepherd kicked in their 70's riffrock beliefs and noise/sludge influences. Whilst still immersed a hundred feet deep in doom tradition, they opened their hearts to the likes of Trapeze and Zeppelin on one hand, and the sick, slow-moving sludge of Grief and 13 on the other. Shepherd brought these new touchstones together and The Coldest Day's completely new sound was the result.
This album is one of the few that is a complete listen from start to finish. Sure, some parts are better then others ("Wednesday" is a real standout) but it flows nicely from one day to another like a bad dream. "Doomsday" is just a miserably depressing 17-minute dirge of noise and babbling, prefect background noise for a suicide. Great for a long drive or standing in line at the post office. The band broke up in 2004, RIP.

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