Releasing their first EP, Alcohol Fueled, Weed Inspired (2011), Southell creates their own unique sound in the stoner rock scene with heavily distorted, southern-style riffs and spewing vocals of alcoholic idealism that vomit the soul of southern metal. Now I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this album was released in 2011, but sadly, after a failed search to find a single review for this album, I decided to write one myself in hopes of someone—anyone—to be able to synch their ears into it.
After forming back in 2008, the guys began their journey into the stoner rock/southern metal scene from their hometown of Ancona, Italy, with vocalist Matteo Stronati (also known as Strona) who directed the band’s very first music video for their fifth track on the album, “Mind Trip”. The video can be found on YouTube under their official channel, OfficialSouthellTV.
Since his start back in 1998, Strona was also the lead vocalist of bands such as Brothers and Matellica, performing his signature vocals onto various styles of metal. But it wasn’t until he met Leo, former Between Balls and Ass guitarist, that the group would soon be created. Alongside Kian (bass), Mich (guitar), and Satia (drums), the group then created this monstrosity with various influences from bands such as Down, Crowbar, Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Sleep, and, of course, the legendary Black Sabbath.
Now moving on to their album, which consists of six tracks since it’s an EP, we’ll start off with track numero uno (number one):
Now after hearing this track, I can honestly say it’s the perfect track to kick off this album. From start to finish, it delivers a heavy hit of every stoner’s dream of “high” hopes for the future of mankind and the sacred plant that they worship as Strona states that it’s “God’s one true gift to the mankind”. And unlike many of today’s artists, it shows very little rhyme scheme. Just pure melodious tones mixed in with heavily distorted vocals and riffs. Simple, but enjoyable for anyone who enjoys a bit of southern metal. I can promise you it will have every stoner saying, “All I want is to be fucking stoned!”
This would most likely be one of their hardest tracks they’ve done. Why, you may ask? Well, throw in a bit of alternate soft picking and strumming throughout the introduction and chorus, some added violins, a dose of screeching vocals, and you’ve got yourself their second track. It definitely has its ups and downs, transitioning from fast-paced drums to a softer, carefully plucked guitar, but, if anything, this track could best be described as “Down meets Seether”.
Out of the entire album, this IS their hardest track of them all, containing a faster blast beat-like sound on the drums with an addition of a few guitar-squeals here and there, and, of course, it wouldn’t be Southell without a few low, screeching growls. But what separates this track from the rest is the general topic anyone can relate to. I’m sure almost anyone’s had the feeling of being drroooooowwnned in their troubles. This would have to be my second favorite track due to the subtle similarity utilizing such vocals that can be described as Al Cisnerosesque.
Now this is my all-time favorite track out of this whole album. I can assure you this song will have you headbanging and stomping your foot like some sort of country-biker. This is definitely one of their more southern-based songs. It not only has that heavy sounding, fast pounding, feel-good riff of the combined effort of bass and drums, but an added guitar solo along with a harmonica solo! Now this, my friends, is innovating on their part. But as we reach the grand outro of this track, the final verse will end on a particular note of drinking some whiskey and goin’ straight on your way—a real beer drinkin’ song, if you ask me.
Now on to their most popular song of the bunch. But first, if you take a look at their album cover I think you can take a good guess at what this track’s about. It’s every stoner’s day in this one. And if I could think of one word to describe this particular track it would be something along the lines of—aggressive. I, myself, would place this riff among the top fifteen riffs in my book. With the specific sound they created along with an independently-made music video, one can only imagine what else this band has in store for us in the future.
Their final track goes out with a bang as it’s also the longest of them all. Of course, with a song title labeled, “The Lie”, you can already tell it’s going to be a heavy hitter. But it does, in fact, transition from a strong upbeat intro to a subtle, mellow bass line. In my opinion, this track captures a tiny bit of a doom/drone metal vibe, especially near the end with the extended drone pitch to close it out. One note I made was the serious yet comical feel to it, considering there’s an indirect Pinocchio reference. Upon reading the lyrics, which reads: “From a wooden nose, I became a woman’s tongue / Thanks to me you can’t know right from the wrong”. This line alone sums up the message for the entire song itself. Deception is an act of betrayal, which I think anyone can agree upon.
Overall, the album is masterfully done with quality recorded riffs and lyrics as well as an added plus for the independently-made music video. Anyone wondering if it’s worth a buy, I highly recommend buying it. You can buy this album for a good price at their bandcamp page here:
Rating: 4.1 / 5
How did I do? Don’t hesitate to leave any comments about the quality of my review. Thank you.