Formed in 2011, Half Gramme of Soma (HGoS) released their first full (self financed) album in January 2013. Coming from Athens, they are already a part of the continuously growing heavy rock underground scene in Greece, which consists of - besides the established ones - many newly formed but very promising bands. Half Gramme of Soma, before this release, were known for their great live appearances. Unfortunately I've never had the chance to attend a gig of the band in the past but this is marked as a high-priority in my things-to-do list for the immediate future.
And this is a priority because HGoS's debut album hit me like a lightning from the first time I listened to it. I think that these five guys have worked very hard for two years to accomplish such a result. And the result is a beautiful 9-track debut album, 43 minutes of great heavy rock tunes bouncing between atmospheric psychedelia and grungy-rock heaviness.
HGoS managed to give their own touch to the music that they picked to "mess with", creating their own sound that can easily separate them from other bands in the scene. The album keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end, with compositional patterns that are neither too simple to make you get bored nor very complex to tire you out; but still offering you a great variety and many changes in pattern, rhythm and emotions not only from track to track but even inside the same track (such as in "Bipolar" and "Feed Your Hell").
The vocals are clean in the whole album and the singer not only follows the already heavy sound but also gives more strength and volume to tracks such as "In Grief" and "Burn Your Shadows". The band’s psychedelic moods are manifested in many points inside the album, in tracks as "Secret of the Fox", "Wings Rusted Away" and especially in the last track of the album "Under a Malign Star". The band has announced that they're going on with a new singer and a new bassist and it remains a question how this will affect their musical directions. But I am pretty sure that they won't "betray" our expectations and the good start they've made with this album.
In conclusion, if you dig heavy tunes strolling around in psychedelic paths and strong atmospheric vocals along with grungy guitars with a variety of riffs, then you should definitely give a chance to these guys and listen to what they have to say through this debut album.
"..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon..."
01. Burn Your Shadows
03. Feed Your Hell
04. Secret Of The Fox
05. Push Me Around
06. In Grief
07. Dead End
08. Wings Rusted Away
09. Under A Malign Star