Custom Black is a heavy doom rock trio from the plains of Kansas City. One thing that instantly let’s you know a band is good is when artist David Paul Seymour is involved. The renowned artist created the bands logo. He has done album art or logos for various bands like Wofat, Bastard Lord, Clouds Taste Satanic, and Stone Machine Electric. This of course puts their artwork in competition with some well known bands in the realm of stoner and doom music. Although often times the artwork is enough to entice you to purchase the album, Custom Black have something much greater inside the packaging. On February 21st the band released their debut album ‘Smoke Shall Rise’. The album which was self-released was recorded and mixed by Justin Mantooth at Westend Recording Studios and mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Their style is full of mouth watering riffs, copiousness amounts of groove and classic breathtaking doom vocal tones.
‘Smoke Shall Rise’ gets things started off with a southern style doom riff on the track “She Rides”. The riffs chug along with a heavy dose of groove. It’s not often you get some doom with a southern twist but Custom Black have a truly customized sound that is unique to them. Once the vocals come through and you hear singer/guitarist Josh Acosta ‘s voice with a slight twang. Again the riffs take over the song with a quick short riff that sounds like it came straight from the Tony Iommi playbook. As the song progresses to the end things come to a slowed down pace and include some delicate guitar picking that concludes the opening track. Forget everything I said about groove, “Relativity” is the king of groove on the album. The song is kicked off with bassist Glenn Hall laying down some of that low end thunder, and later rears its head again through the song from time to time. The song has this really unique punchy sound that morphs into more of a distorted doom. Acosta’s voice is just the cherry on top. His melodic throwback kind of pitch contrasts perfectly with the down tuned and groove filled track. “Dying Under A Hot Sun” has a really New Orleans sludge sound. Imagine a mesh between Eye Hate God and Black Sabbath and that’s what you are getting on this track. There is true moments of raw sound where you can even hear the scratching of the strings against the fret board. While most bands over produce their music Custom Black truly lets it shine in its truest form. The track also gives you some solo work and the vocal tone becomes more more hushed for a few moments that just pushes the song over the edge from great to amazing. Riffs, groove, killer beats and classic doom vocals; what more could anyone want? The answer is nothing. Custom Black’s ‘Smoke Shall Rise’ is a homerun.