1968 is a stoner rock/metal band from the United Kingdom that was formed sometime in the mid 2010s. Admittedly, it’s a bit difficult to find much information about the band, as their Bandcamp page doesn’t have much, and their name mostly returns results from the year 1968. Thankfully, I just found an interview posted on their Facebook page from Outlaws of the Sun, which contains a bit information about their most recent album. Their style is described as a mixture of psych, prog, hard, and classic rock with a stoner rock presentation. This album that I’m listening to tonight, Ballads of the Godless (2018), is the groups first full-length album, having released their first EPs in 2016 and 2017. I’m pretty excited to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Devilswine” gradually fades in with some interesting reversed sounds and a bit of feedback in the guitar, and then breaks through to a super heavy groove that I’m really digging, which immediately gives me impressions of a sort of the Deftones with a certain stoner rock inclination. Holy smokes, I’m really digging the heaviness of the bass and guitars in this track. Holy smokes, the track changes up and the bass gets grooving into a bit of solo for a moment while the guitar sort of hangs out, and then the guitar comes back in with some super groovy lines. Oh wow, the grooves all come back to the heavy movements of the beginning of the track as things come to a close. Wow, great track and I’m excited to hear more.
“Screaming Son” starts out with some distorted, almost calming, heavy guitar notes that immediately remind me again of the Deftones. Oh wow, the vocals have a sort of gruffness that feels like a sludgy medley of stoner rock and classic 1970s hard rock. I really dig the drums in this track – there’s almost a flowing quality reminiscent of groups like The Black Angels. Holy smokes, the track mellows out and nearly gets into cosmic territory with the different psychedelic effects, accentuations, and reverberation. Holy smokes, the guitar after that mellow movement comes back with some big, gritty, and super flavorful licks that are pulling me even further into the listening experience. Holy smokes, the track ends with the mellow intro guitar. Wow, great track.
“Temple of the Acidwolf” begins with some interesting bells, and shifts towards a bit of a eastern European baroque sound for a moment, and then the track drops into a shifty psychedelic movement with guitar that feels like it’s swirling in a cauldron, almost as though you’re suddenly staring up at a full moon in the middle of a dark forest with rustling in the trees behind you and a mysterious castle in front of you that’s beckoning you inside. Holy smokes, I’m really digging this track. The sound at the moment almost feels like some sort of raga-inflected doom rock version of the Deftones, and I’m absolutely digging the sound. Holy smokes, the darkness in the grooves has a sort of mesmerizing quality that keeps me listening closer and closer. The grooves in the track have evolved a ton at this point in such a natural way that I’m reminded of prog rock from the early 1970s mixed with doom metal of modern day. Wow, great track.
Oh wow, “S.J.D.” begins with some sweet acoustic guitar that has mesmerized me even further coming off of the heels of the previous track, especially as the sweet piano comes in. Wow, there’s a ton of passion and interplay between the dynamic strumming of the acoustic guitar and the melody from the piano. Then there’s also some organs that come in near the end of the track, which add even more psychedelia to the earthy folksy tune. Great track.
“Chemtrail Blues” starts out with some guitar notes that seem to continually melt more and more into the soundscape, and eventually the drums come in and pick up more intensity as the intro continues. Oh wow, the track has some super sweet, deep, big grooves in the drums and bass as the dark, blues-inflected song seems to drop into place. I’m reminded a lot again of the Deftones in this track. Holy smokes, the track seems to be continually evolving in sort of bluesy prog stoner rock style that has me somehow still listening even closer. Oh wow, rest of the instrumentation but the guitar drops away, and the guitar picks up a really interesting distorted, melting quality that adds in a ton of psychedelic rock sound that has my ears even closer to my speakers, especially as the guitar lines sound super dynamic. Wow, great track.
“McQueen” begins with a groovy smooth segue with the bass line in from the previous track. Holy smokes, the track broke through to a massive section that reminded me again of the Deftones, and that movement is followed my a really interesting meltingly psychedelic section reminiscent of groups like The Darksiders. Holy smokes, there’s a super distant vocal line that almost takes on a Gregorian chant quality that seems to follow along with the guitar and drives up the intensity of the track in a really groovy way. Oh wow, there track seems to fall away except for a repetitive fuzzed-out note from a guitar that bridges that song to a super groovy jam filled with heavy psychedelia-laced stoner rock that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, this jam keeps on giving until the very last moments of the song as the music fades out with some feedback and effects. Great track.
“The Hunted” starts out with a strong, groovy beat, which is joined by some super sweet and melodic stoner rock guitar and some really interesting vocal accentuations to the guitar melody. Oh wow, the music completely stops for a moment, and then things kick back into gear with some super groovy hard rock and psych rock sounds. Oh wow, there’s almost a brightness and harmonious quality to this track compared to some of the other songs on the album, as though the band is tying things together with a nearly cheery disposition melded with their hard, stoner rock jams. Oh wow, the track comes to a close with some spoken word that has a really mesmerizing quality, much like the rest of the album. Great track, and a great way to finish the listening experience.
Holy smokes, this album is sweet. I was reminded a lot of the Deftones throughout the listening experience with the sort of melodic, dark, spacious alternative metal and hard rock sounds throughout, as well as psychedelic rock groups such as The Darksiders with the melting guitar work and different effects during the listening experience. If you’re into stoner rock/metal and dark, deep grooves that blend prog rock, hard rock, and psychedelic rock, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.