Trees
"Lights Bane"

(Crucial Blast Records 2008)Trees - Lights Bane

I'm no great student of geography, so I'm inclined to envision places I've never been to in sweeping generalities. For me, Oregon is pretty much synonymous with wilderness. So it doesn't take a great deal of thought to understand where Portland's Trees got their moniker from. Perhaps also inspired by what (I assume to be) the vast and gloomy landscape of their home state, "Lights Bane" is a weighty, monochromatic chunk of shambling doom metal.

Like the great shoots of lumber from which they take their name, the two tracks that make up the half-hour album are massive, dense, and unchanging. Bursts of hefty guitar erupt and ring out over erratic drum patterns and faint, guttural vocals. If the effect is meant to be hypnotic, then it works fantastically. In fact, it works too well. The unending waves of the same handful of notes and chords stretched out over a prolonged couple of tunes makes for what can be the musical equivalent of a sleeping aid. There's a line between producing a drone album and producing Lunesta, and Trees fall just shy of the right side of that line.

"Lights Bane" is most definitely not for the impatient, or for people with short attention spans. There's just not enough happening to keep the interests of most music fans, even those with a tolerance towards the more extreme end of the spectrum. What starts off as a strong stream of sludgy doom quickly turns to a trickle, stagnating by the time the album runs its course.

B-

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