There’s something special about a two-piece band. The White Stripes and the Black Keys rose to fame for their separate Blues-inspired brands of Hard Rock back in the early 2000s—and both famously only had a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer.
More recently, Royal Blood took the world by storm, but they did so with a major twist: they have a bassist/vocalist and a drummer.
While the two-piece setup has become more and more common in recent years, it’s still rather unusual in the Stoner Rock and Doom arenas. Seattle-formed Big Business famously uses only bass and drums to conjure its own massive waves of sounds. And although they’re certainly not as well-known, New York-based Black Cobra only uses a guitar/vocals/drums setup as well.
As far as we know at Monster Riff, there simply aren’t many other bands in Stoner Rock that fit the two-piece description (though you’re welcome to plug your favorites in the comments below).
Enter Hermit’s Weedsom.
Hailing from Rennes, France, Hermit’s Weedsom delivers massive distorted riffs while channeling Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi (“Praise Iommi,” they write on the Hermit’s Weedsom Bandcamp page) in a completely instrumental version of Stoner and Doom.
About Hermit’s Weedsom
Hermit’s Weedsom compensates for lacking a bassist when performing live by mixing in a hefty dose of analog germanium fuzz pedals to deliver that fat, fuzzy sound.
The French duo is:
Valentin Cabioch – Guitar/Bass
Robin Leplumey – Drums
Although they’re currently an instrumental two-piece, the band said they were looking for a bassist when we last talked to them—so reach out if you’re in the area and dig their sound!
More good news if you enjoy He Who Sees In the Dark: Hermit’s Weedsom is recording a second album early this year. Stay tuned for more!
He Who Sees In the Dark Review
Track One: Terpenes
It’s not too surprising that a band by the name of Hermit’s Weedsom would open with a track called “Terpenes” in honor of the aromatic compounds found in cannabis!
The primary riff from “Terpenes” is deep and low, delivered with tons of bass and fuzz—perfect for fans of Sleep or Electric Wizard.
Like many songs on this album, “Terpenes” is surprisingly complex. Although it opens like a classic Doom track, its multi-sectional construction frees the band to transition through a few different soundscapes over its 10-minute duration.
Track Two: Solitude & Speechlessness
For a moment, the opening of “Solitude & Speechlessness” reminded us of Valkyrie (which features Pete Adams, formerly of Baroness). Valentin and Robin ride that opening riff for the first minute and a half before breaking into the ethereal, giving their instrumentation space to breathe.
“Solitude & Speechlessness” is the shortest track on the album at only 5:59. Although it’s relatively tight, it does feel like the band left some unexplored ideas on the table.
Regardless, “Solitude & Speechlessness” marks a change in direction for He Who Sees In the Dark. While “Terpenes” and the beginning of “Solitude & Speechlessness” rely on inspiration from Doom and Drone, the second half of “Solitude & Speechlessness” (and the rest of the album) rely on inspiration from more Prog Rock sources.
Track Three: The Magician
“The Magician” starts with a soft, psychedelic introduction that, like the second track, lasts for the first minute and a half.
That’s when things get a little crazy (in a good way). Valentin adopts a new tone on the six-string, driving us deep into Metal territory.
“The Magician” is definitely my personal favorite—and its placement as the album’s middle track and album high point was a smart choice from the band.
Track Four: The Wanderer
Fans of We Hunt Buffalo will certainly appreciate “The Wanderer.”
With its textured bass, distorted treble, and exploratory guitar work, “The Wanderer” would fit well alongside tracks like “Northern Desert” or “Someone Other’ on We Hunt Buffalo.
Track Five: Swamp Meadow
Although this album opened with the crushingly low riffs of “Terpenes,” it concludes on a much lighter note. “Swamp Meadow” opens on light guitar work backed some beautiful reverb.
Like the rest of the songs on this album, this ethereal build eventually transitions into a heavier sound—a backdrop Valentin Cabioch uses for his best guitar solos yet.
Pros: He Who Sees In the Dark features massive grooves, solid solos, and dark exploration. “Terpenes” rocks heavy, pounding into your skull like a classic Sleep tune, while “Solitude & Speechlessness” flawlessly bridges the album’s transition from Doom to Stoner—demonstrating exactly how much range a two-piece band can produce.
Cons: He Who Sees In the Dark might not blow you away on the first listen. Or the second.
This is partially by design.
Hermit’s Weedsom is an instrumental act in the Doom/Stoner territory, which means there’s greater pressure on Valentin Cabioch to create melody through his guitar work.
For the most part, he delivers—especially in his builds and interludes.
But without a dedicated vocalist, Hermit’s Weedsom would benefit from embracing its Prog and Psychedelic identities even further to explore some additional colors in their sound.
In the album’s current form, Hermit’s Weedsom leans on repetition to build songs, literally repeating the same sections as if they were moving through a verse/chorus/verse/chorus progression with an actual singer. Breaking free from that mold would definitely open new doors in their songwriting.
That said, He Who Sees In the Dark grew on me with every listen. I initially nearly passed on a full review, but every time I listened through these five tracks, I found another layer to explore.
He Who Sees In the Dark isn’t a perfect album (and few are), but it’s an incredibly strong first effort from two talented musicians.