"The Holy of Holies" (Ripple Music; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The music that French rockers Appalooza make on "The Holy of Holies" is hard to describe. It's got a stoner/doom vibe but moves at a faster pace. It's got vocals that are cool and aloof. It's got at least two tracks that end with eerie instrumentals ("Snakecharmer" and "Conquest") while one track starts off with one ("Azazel"). It's got one song that goes into an insane circus polka toward the end ("Thousand Years After"). It's got some weird guitar riffs that drive songs forward (as in "Reincarnation"). And it ends with an atmospheric, eight-minute monster that builds to a crushing crescendo before closing the album with a slow fade.

But you know what it doesn't have? Anything boring. "The Holy of Holies" will hold your attention throughout with the band's unique sound that never lets up and is never afraid of taking chances. It's an album that's thick with atmosphere and sonic description and it plays out like an aural movie inside your brain. Take a trip with Appalooza. I think you'll be glad you did. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.