Five years ago we reviewed the debut from Portuguese prog/stoner act The Quartet of Whoah!, and commented on the amount of promise this four piece band showed, as they took all those classic influences and mixed that with modern elements for an exciting sound. Their sophomore self-titled release for Raging Planet Records follows Ultrabomb and sees the band taking some steps forward thanks to plenty of live appearances under the belt as well as even more exploratory arrangements creeping into their songwriting. The line-up of the band has remained the same, with Gonçalo Kotowicz (vocals/guitars), Rui Guerra (vocals, keyboards), Miguel Costa (drums), and André Gonçalves (bass/vocals) all returning for this sophomore effort. The album opens up with the 13-minute monster "As In Life", a blend of muscular stoner metal riffs, intricate jazzy drum passages, and plenty of psych/prog laced guitar, keyboard & bass explorations. It's no less epic on "Forth By Light", as lethal Hammond organ & heavy rock riffs saturate the landscape like a head-on-collision between Deep Purple and Opeth, the occasional moments of lush acoustic guitar & crooning vocals add an unique element to this otherwise brooding proto-prog/metal gem. "A Flock of Leaves" clocks in at over 17-minutes, with powerful vocals soaring over meandering chords and simmering keyboards, the arrangement steadily picking up pace and gaining steam as the riffs get heavier and the rhythms kick into high gear before a wild Uriah Heep-meets-The Beatles-meets Black Sabbath finale. The album closes out with "Days of Wrath", a roaring '70s bluesy hard rock romp with loads of fuzz toned guitars, layers of vocal harmonies, swirling Hammond, and thunderous grooves. At over 13-minutes, it's just as epic as its siblings, but it's easily the most upbeat and accessible.
If you thought Ultrabomb was, well, the 'bomb', this latest self-titled release from The Quartet of Whoah! should impress you even more. If you love your classic sounding hard rock mixed with plenty of prog rock, psychedelia, and stoner metal, you'll want to make sure you don't miss this powerhouse of an album!
1) As In Life
2) Forth By Light
3) A Flock Of Leaves
4) Days Of Wrath