What’s in a name? I’ll tell you what’s in a name, or rather, what’s not in a name in the case of California doom mongers Weightlessness. After listening extensively to the band’s Of Lachrymose Grief, I’ve decided that their chosen moniker couldn’t possibly be any more of a misnomer. You see, “weightlessness” indicates an absence of weight, but this debut EP wields enough down-tuned heft to sink their entire home state into the sea and then some.
Of Lachrymose Grief is a rough and raw monolith of death doom that does much to distinguish itself from the slow ‘n’ low hordes that seem to be coming out of the woodwork of late. The first thing one notices is that in spite of the EP’s title, the melodies found within are strangely uplifting, not in a frilly euro power metal or jiggy folk metal way, but in a “I’m dying and I’m fucking happy about it” way; perhaps the weightlessness that the band’s referring to is that of the spirit leaving the body. Then again, it could have something to do with the way in which they often leave ultra-dense, droning chords hanging in the air to crumble and dissipate into the aether.
Weightlessness also make frequent use of acoustic and clean electric tones throughout Of Lachrymose Grief, making the heavy parts that much heavier when they come lumbering in. Think of it as a doomed take on the loud-quiet-loud motif that’s been oft-utilized in rock music, smoked out and buried under a ten ton pile of skulls. When one considers that most bands in the style are content to glacially plug away without ever stepping off the distortion pedal, the band’s dynamic approach is a pleasant surprise that kicks the EP’s memorability up several notches.
Of Lachrymose Grief is an exceptionally promising debut for Weightlessness and yet another in a long line of excellent releases from Graceless Recordings, yet another cassette label that seems to be incapable of putting out a dud. Copies are still available direct from the label and as a download via Bandcamp for all you tapeophobes out there. Whatever method you choose, get on it, stat.