Robots of the Ancient World is a doom metal/stoner rock band from Portland, Oregon, and has been active since 2014. I came across the band in my newly released suggestions from Apple Music, as the album I’ll be listening to tonight, Mystic Goddess (2021), was released just a couple of weeks ago on May 21st, and is the group’s second full-length album they’ve released thus far. This album’s Bandcamp listing includes tags like metal, desert rock, doom metal, hesh, stoner metal, stoner rock, and Portland. I’ve really enjoyed diving further into the doom metal/stoner rock genre, so I’m pretty excited to give this album a listen. With that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Mystic Goddess” gradually fades in with a bit of a drone from a hum of an amplifier, which is eventually joined by some mysterious guitar lines that seem to have a bit of raga flavor combined with what nearly sounds like some surf rock sounds. Oh wow, the rest of the instrumentation joins in for a really groovy, mellow soundscape that makes use of tremolo with the guitars along with what sounds to be a wah pedal, a really sweet, airy swing in the drums, and a low bass line that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the track enters a new movement in which the bass has a bit of distortion, and the beat feels a bit stronger. Oh wow, the vocals come in with some really groovy sounds that nearly seem as though the singer is shouting from a distance. Oh wow, the track seems to get a bit darker and heavier is the music continues. Holy smokes, the track changes up again to the airy swing in the drums and the mellow guitar work while the low bass grooves things along, somewhat similar to earlier in the song. Great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
Oh wow, “Wasteland” begins with a low, slow, muddied bass line that almost sounds like some sludged-up version of The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post”. Oh wow, the vocals have a really different feel from the previous track at first as the soundscape gradually takes form. Oh wow, I really dig the harmonization in the guitar work, which sort of reminds me of the heavy psych stoner rock style of Gorilla Pulp. Oh wow, the guitars diverge as the track enters another movement, while seeming to use similar wah effects for a moment. Holy smokes, the track mellows out to a bass line, backbeat, vocals, and some quick, reverberated, staccato’d guitar chords for a moment that almost seems to have a surf rock meets heavy psych sound that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the guitars meet up again for some really sweet and somewhat heavy harmonizations. Holy smokes, the guitars seem to get even heavier as the song comes to an end and one of the guitars picks up a wah pedal effect while the guitars continue to harmonize. Great track.
“Agua Caliente” fades in with what sounds to be a bit of feedback and some tentative notes from a guitar that make it sound like the band is about to launch into a rockin’ groove. Oh wow, the track enters another movement that has a really sweet, speedy hard rock sound that I really dig. Oh wow, the track enters another movement that seems to mellow out a bit while picking up more psychedelic and stoner rock flavors that I’m really digging. Oh wow, one of the guitars seems to echo the vocals for a moment. Oh wow, the track seems to somehow relax back into the speedy hard rock movement from earlier now with more of a stoner rock feel. Great tune.
“Out of the Gallows” gets into a hard rockin’ stoner rock/doom metal groove that immediately has me hooked into the soundscape. Oh wow, I really dig the way the vocals and guitars all seem to climb alongside one another as the track comes to a stoner rock crescendo of sorts. Holy smokes, I really dig the big crashing cymbals and strong backbeat in this track. Holy smokes, the soundscape switches up as one of the guitars begins playing a super groovy solo imbued with sludgy stoner rock and doom metal sounds. Great tune.
Oh wow, “Unholy Trinity” has a really interesting, dark, distorted, melodic guitar riff that begins the track that makes me think a lot of TOOL. Oh wow, the rest of the instrumentation joins in as the soundscape continues along the sort of dark melodicism that the track started out with. Oh wow, the track seems to get darker and heavier as the track continues along, seemingly crossing into doom metal territory. Oh wow, I really dig the way the bass line harmonizes with the heavy distortion from one of the guitars at one point. Oh wow, the track seems to have returned to that mellow, dark melodicism from the intro movement of the track. Oh wow, I really dig the effects in the breakdown near the end of the track, which remind me a bit of Rage Against The Machine. Great track.
“Mk Ultraviolence” gets started with a really dynamic drum intro that almost seems to have some vaguely psychedelic effects on it that reminds me of psychedelic rock bands from the late 1960s. Oh wow, the track gets grooving into a really sweet, heavy, and melodic stoner rock movement that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, there are some super sweet drum fills in this track. Holy smokes, it sounds like the bass guitar is taking a solo in this track, and one of the guitars is accentuating the bass solo with some really sweet licks. Holy smokes, the band gets into some super sweet, heavy psychedelic grooves in this one. Great track.
“Lucifyre” gradually begins with what sound to be some humming from amplifiers for a moment, and soon after some really sweet, distorted, melodic guitar lines come in from both sides of the soundscape. I really dig the sort of heavy melodicism of the rhythm guitar line while the lead guitar plays some mellow psychedelic licks on this track. Oh wow, the track gets into a really spacious, mellow groove with some heavy flavors that remind me a bit of Dead Shaman’s heavy, exploratory track, “Sunday’s Psychedelic Breakfast”, from their album, Out of Phase (2020). Holy smokes, the vocals come in and bring some more heaviness to the soundscape. I really dig the loose, heaviness of the bass line combined with the massive sound of the backbeat while the cymbals seem to add a bit of light airiness to the soundscape.
I’m really digging the heaviness of this track so far. Holy smokes, the track changes up a bit as one of the guitars enters a heavy psych, distorted, and melodic guitar solo that seems to continue building on itself. Oh wow, the other guitar now seems to be accentuating the different psychedelic licks from the soloing guitar. Oh wow, the vocals have become talking that sounds like someone speaking through a phone while being backed by some distortion and heavy psych sound effects. Oh wow, the speaking vocals almost sound like an excerpt from a radio show of some sort. I really dig how the guitar continues adding some psychedelic sounds while the speaking continues. Great track.
Oh wow, “Ordo Ab Chao” begins with what sounds to be someone trying to find a particular radio station. Holy smokes, some acoustic guitar comes in behind the radio effects. The acoustic guitar almost has a bit of a raga style that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the vocals have a really sweet acoustic feel as well, as though the track was recorded live or something. Holy smokes, the acoustic guitar is replaced by some groovy, melodic, distorted electric guitars, which are soon joined by some really super sweet percussion from a drum kit and some shakers. Oh wow, I really dig the mellow finish to this track. Great tune and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, I’m stoked that I checked out this album by Robots of the Ancient World tonight. There’s a really groovy heavy melodicism present throughout the album that I really dig, which reminds me a fair deal of the doom metal and stoner rock sounds from groups like Gorilla Pulp, and I was even reminded of TOOL at some points in the album with some of the guitar work. If you’re a fan of heavy psych, stoner rock, and/or doom metal, 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.