There’s been a recent interest and resurgence in blues and psychedelic rock since the turn of the century through several revivalist acts that’re bringing that aspect back into modern rock music. Some of them come from unlikely places: Sonic Flower is a spin-off group of Church of Misery, a well-known Japanese doom metal band, where they aimed to take a more straight-forward, in-your-face approach. Sonic Flower is their only effort, released in 2003, to date.
They open with a very energetic Cosmic Highway, supposed to drive us to the heights of the group’s funky riffage and infectious energy. That’s the name of the game – energy. It’s present throughout the entire album and it’s impossible to really drone off in thought in doom metal style, though there are definitely nods – the guitar and bass work are very much Black Sabbath-esque, which becomes particularly noticeable in Black Sunrise, especially in the nature of the riffs, which are catchy and sort of fall prey to the clichés of the genre, but with charm and confidence: there’s no harm in doing things in music that have been done if you do them right, and this is a prime example.
It does refreshing things too, though – the guitar solo work is far from derivative and thrives in its characteristic blues simplicity and effectiveness, leading very well into the climaxes, specially in clincher Going Down, my personal favourite off the album which is simply a 5 minute long guitar solo on top of what makes this album great – RAW. ENERGY.
We’ll cut it short for this short side project gone right, with groove and love from Japan.