For the most part, 1782’s self-titled debut is a pretty straightforward work of stoner doom. The Italian duo exercises clear influence from such groups as Electric Wizard and Saint Vitus as monolithic but melodic riffs are accompanied by loose, pounding drumbeats and heavily filtered echoing vocals. The tried and true lyrical themes of witch trials and occult revelry are also out and about, though they do have more weight considering the band named themselves after the year of convicted witch Anna Göldi’s execution.
Alas, that weight doesn’t quite extend to the musicianship. The guitar is expectedly at center stage, but the tone feels rather toothless, resulting in riffs that come off stripped of power and excessively minimalistic without anything else to fall back on. This, in turn, makes the distantly mixed vocals seem even more redundant than they already are with most stoner groups. Everything is still well played and there are some promising riffs on here, so it’s tricky to tell if the band would’ve benefitted from conviction in the performances or more intricate songwriting.
In a fascinating twist, 1782’s best results come with an instrumental format as proved toward the album’s end. Their self-titled piece makes the most of those Vitus influences with a building, riff heavy structure that eventually gives way to shimmering organs that come to dominate the closing cover of Pink Floyd deep cut “Celestial Voices.” Neither track is set to be a staple, but their presence is quite refreshing. I get vibes reminiscent of Italian doom godfather Paul Chain that I would love to see be further developed in the future.
While the promise that is glimpsed on 1782’s self-titled album is ultimately crippled by an underwhelming delivery, it is a decent enough debut. The style is inherently enjoyable, and the riff work is pretty serviceable, even if they would’ve been more effective with an extra boost of power or bolder ideas. Bands like Monolord do this sort of thing better and I can’t see this particular album having much appeal beyond the stoner doom niche, but I can see potential for something more novel beyond the horizon.