Karma to Burn- Appalachian Incantation

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, April 3, 2010

After an eight year break, instrumental stoner metal band Karma to Burn has returned with a brand new album. Formed in 1994, the group did have a vocalist at one point but this was mainly because their label at the time required them to. On their new album Appalachian Incantation the band has stuck to their established formula, although they do include two tracks that feature guest vocals. Despite the fact that the group has been gone for quite some time, listeners wouldn’t know it by listening to this effort as the riffs are just as absorbing and catchy as before.

One of Karma to Burn’s signature elements was to not name any of their instrumental songs and instead give them all numbers. This trend has continued on Appalachian Incantation with the exception of “Western World” and “Two Times”, both of which feature guest vocalists. Rather than having one of their members sing on these two tracks, the band decided to focus entirely on their instrumental arrangements and handed the reigns over to Daniel Davies of Year Long Desaster and John Garcia of Kyuss. Each singer gives it their all and adds some additional melodies to the band’s material. However, as long time fans no Karma to Burn has to be judged mainly on their instrumental arrangements as this is what makes up the meat of any of their albums. Thankfully the group is able to deliver on any expectations fans may have, as the instrumentals feature somewhat heavy riffs that are equal parts stoner metal and desert rock. Many of the riffs on the album are sure to provide listeners with some fairly vivid daydreams if they give it the chance, and that is proof that their songs provide quite a bit of atmosphere.

Karma to Burn may not have released an album since 2001, but one listen to Appalachian Incantation makes it sound as though they never disbanded in the first place. If you were a fan of their earlier material or enjoy instrumental only bands quite a bit then this album is a must have. It is great to see that these guys are back, and hopefully they will stick around in order to give listeners even more noteworthy material.


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