Hailing from Norway, Suncraft are a stoner metal band with an insatiable appetite for groovy riffs and rhythms. After releasing their debut EP Saigon in 2019, the band embarked on a circuit of live shows before inevitably being halted by the pandemic. However, like many bands, Suncraft demonstrated resilience by channelling their energy into their first full length album. Flat Earth Rider is a beautiful debut, combining old school flavours with a youthful freshness.
Title track Flat Earth Rider opens with waves of hypnotic feedback that shifts into a bright and groovy riff, the fuzzy solos gliding across the rhythm like melted butter. Vocals wise there’s a lightness that’s blended with a fantastic guttural edge, the latter of which really shines in later tracks. Flat Earth Rider is a brilliant opener, raw and bad ass like ripping a Harley across the earth.
Space Buddha is not only an iconic song title but also a spacious trip that simply becomes enormous in the chorus. There’s variety here, the verses simplistic with a chugging rhythm that allows the vocals to flourish clearly with intent before the climatic chorus.
The hypnotic groove continues in Lingo Hive Mind where the riffs are crushing and heavy. In the same vein as the guitar tone, the guttural yells are ridiculously cathartic and cool, gifting the track with an elevated heaviness. The instrumental segments are simply expansive, the vocals and guitar solos ethereal against the weighty backdrop.
With an opening drum roll that reminds me of Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Alles, Commie Cannibals unleashes into a monstrous riff, turning the dial up from stoner to flat out doom. The song shifts once more with an unexpected use of synths, giving the track a 70s space rock vibe which I’m not mad at at all. The crushing heaviness returns in the chorus, the vocals and guitars nothing short of Godzilla like in their impressive and intimidating delivery. The blend of tones and atmosphere is just excellent and makes it one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Adaptation on the other hand demonstrates a hint of meditative expression, the acoustics gentle and the vocals faraway and light before an explosive hit. It’s the perfect build up to the last track on the album which takes the listener on one final 10-minute sonic journey.
Bridges to Nowhere is sublime. There’s something so theatrical about this piece where Suncraft just revel in the drama and mighty sound they’ve crafted. There’s fury and angst in one particular segment, the drums blasting forth like they’re the head of a death metal band. New layers are unearthed as Suncraft put every last inch of energy, passion and experimentation into this album concluder. It pays off and its truly impressive to behold.
If you’re a fan of stoner and doom of any kind then this album is for you. There’s such a rich offering of flavours and tones in Suncraft’s debut, leaping from darkness to light and combining the two within a matter of seconds.
With offerings like Flat Earth Rider, Suncraft have a bright and beautifully heavy future ahead of them.
Highlights: Flat Earth Rider, Commie Cannibals and Bridges to Nowhere.
Suncraft are a part of All Good Clean Records.