As the world emerged from the dust of 2020, Brooklyn Alt-Doom trio Priestess shook off their old moniker and adopted a fresh new mask, Reverend Mother. Torn from the pages of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the new name represented a rebirth of sorts for band leader Jackie Green on vocals and guitar, who is now joined by Gabe Katz on drums and Matt Cincotta on bass. With a longer release promised for later this year, the newly christened trio self-released an eponymous on Friday, March 19th, consisting of one new track, “The Muse,” pre-pended by a Fuzz cover, “Let It Live,” taken from 2015’s Fuzz II. Covers are no stranger to the Reverend Mother/Priestess catalog, as the band previously released an updated version of the Old Lady number “Paper Doll” in March 2020.
News first spread in February with the release of a teaser video, following Green around the landscape as “Fear and Loathing,” another new track set for inclusion on a later release, scurries in the background. Green and her compatriots still drink deeply from the Black Sabbath grimoire, but add their own Rock-n-Roll influences, from The Doors and Jefferson Airplane to more contemporary fare like Lana Del Rey. As for the Fuzz cover, the song has enough paths, loops, detours, and trap doors to serve as more than a warm-up for “The Muse,” the first of a trilogy of original material set for release this year.
While “Let It Live” and Fuzz overall may serve as inspiration to the band, the dark depths of “The Muse” shows that Green, Cincotta, and Katz, have their own corner staked out within the Doom Metal scene. Katz and Cincotta lay a deep thumping slab of concrete, from which Green snarls and shreds her way through influences both obvious and obscure. The roping guitar solo stretching across the latter half of the song is absolutely infectious. In fact, it leaves you lost and eager to restart the track in a vague attempt to find a concrete path. At every step, Green flexes her dense, near-monotone vocals across
If these two tracks—combined with the teasing bits of “Fear and Loathing” to be found elsewhere online—are any indication of the path taken by a larger release later this year, fans will have their hands full with Reverend Mother in 2021 and beyond. New name, same great output; Cryptic Rock is pleased to give this debut 4.5 out of 5 stars.