After many late night smoke sessions, plenty of joints snuffed out and numerous bowls roasted, Highburnator returns with Keystoned State, a four track EP that provides you with but grimy and dirty stoner doom. After releasing a great three song EP in 2014 titled The Clambake Doesn’t Stop, Keystoned State certainly does not disappoint either. In fact, this release from these perpetually stoned metal heads is just as good if not better than their debut release. It has been three years since their hibernation, but Highburnator has returned this year with a smoke filled and marijuana scented release that is easy to sink your teeth in to and listen to for hours.
From the first note on, you are hit with buzzing and fuzz filled sounds that get your head nodding from the get go. This certainly is the type of release where you want to roast a couple of bowls and just listen and enjoy all of the crunchy and mesmerizing noise. Even if you don’t burn a few bowls before, Highburnator has you covered as you seem to get a contact high just from listening. As soon as you press play, dense smoke pours through your speakers encompassing you. The overall sound of Keystoned State is thick and murky, filled with buzzing guitars and a thick sludge filled bass. Each track is just as good and memorable as the ones that came before it, and before you know it you are five bowls deep and keeping this EP on repeat.
The vocals that Highburnator provides are more gritty and murky. Instead of soft cleans you are provided with vocals that are gritty and filled with plenty of smoke. Since Highburnator is stoner doom, the overall sound is not aggressive of course, but the vocals certainly are the most aggressive element within this EP. With that being said, the vocals work oh so well with the overall sound as they provide an even more murky and buzzing sound.
Highburnator also does a great job of transitioning between their more slow burning doom elements and their rock elements providing you with both a relaxing yet head nodding release. When needed they tend to slow things down quite a bit presenting you with a hypnotizing fuzz filled sound, but they also pick the tempo gifting you with a more head banging sound. Keystoned State is varied and never gives you the same sound twice as each track sounds completely different from the others. If you are a stoner doom fan or just a doom fan in general, Keystoned State certainly is a release to keep an eye out for.
After two EPs, it will be great to see what Highburnator has in store as far as a full length goes. Keystoned State is just as solid as their debut EP and an even bigger step in the right direction from these stoners from Pennsylvania. Burn on, crank this up and just enjoy!