In the Stoner/Doom scene, you’ll find plenty of bands that cross genre lines. Truckfighters embrace elements of Psychedelia, Baroness pull inspiration from Progressive Metal, and All Them Witches frequently wrap their music in Heavy Blues.
Then there are bands like This Summit Fever, who draw from multiple genres at once, including Stoner Rock, Doom Metal, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and even the fuzzy, trance-inducing swagger of Dance/Electronic-infused bands like Royal Blood and DZ Deathrays.
With so many different influences present on Doubt, This Summit Fever’s debut EP, the band has created a captivating, unpredictable EP—one that has the potential to capture quite a wide audience.
About This Summit Fever
Based in Shropshire, England, This Summer Fever is a two-piece that originally started in 2020 as a one-man recording project for singer and guitarist Andy Blackburn. The project eventually caught the attention of old college acquaintance and drummer Jim McSorley.
Today, the band members are:
- Andy Blackburn – Guitars, Vocals
- Jim McSorley – Drums
Doubt was completely self-produced, and its recording was delayed multiple times because of the pandemic. Interestingly, This Summit Fever tapped British music producer Russ Russell, who also worked with heavy acts like Napalm Death and At the Gates, to master Doubt at Parlour Studios.
Doubt EP Review
Release Date: August 20, 2021
Track One: How to Be Invisible
Doubt kicks off with a delicious guitar riff dipped in fuzz, similar to something you might hear from Royal Blood or DZ Deathrays. “How to Be Invisible” slows slightly for the chorus, growing punchier in its blows. It’s a stunning opener and an absolute blast.
Track Two: Reborn
Interestingly, “Reborn” follows the classic loud/quiet/loud songwriting template to alternate between a Doom and Hard Rock approach. Although “Reborn” has beautiful, almost ethereal sections, it also has moments of earth-rattling destruction.
The song’s lyrics are just as compelling. “Reborn” opens with:
Dig up your tomahawk
Shock the system
Contort what you thought to be true
There’s much to unpack here in a thorough analysis, but lyricist Andrew Blackburn seems to be playing off the old “bury the hatchet” idiom while playing even heavier into its Native American-European settler origins—a nod, perhaps, to some of the centuries-old issues the world is still dealing with.
Track Three: What I Should Have Learned By Now
“What I Should Have Learned By Now” quickly establishes itself as one of the heaviest tracks on Doubt—in its first half. At almost exactly the halfway point, an acoustic guitar fills the void, creating a new sort of uncomfortable tension for the rest of the instruments to build upon. This acoustic section proves to be a sort of formidable bridge, as the song eventually returns to some of its original ideas for the conclusion.
Track Four: Herd Hypnosis
“Herd Hypnosis” begins with a soft opening, one that’s almost Psychedelic. With such an ethereal starting point, this feels like a concluding track, but that’s obviously not where it’s placed on the album.
Furthering the “hypnosis” concept in the title, the first line of the song is surreal, giving a nod to Alice In Wonderland: “Down the rabbit hole…”
Track Five: Fury Pulled Me South
Like the opener for Doubt, “Fury Pulled Me South” relies on the loud/quiet/loud format. And also like “How to Be Invisible,” “Fury Pulled Me South” contains some of the EP’s more interesting guitar moments, making this a compelling listen and worthy of its seven-minute runtime.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Standout Tracks: “How to Be Invisible” and “Fury Pulled Me South”
Pros: When This Summit Fever is on their game, they’re incredible. Under Andy Blackburn’s guidance, the bandmates deliver massive riffs, catchy vocals, and crushing grooves.
At their best, This Summit Fever is a blend of Royal Blood and Red Fang, with warm, fuzzy tones and aggressive riffs drenched in distortion—and there are even moments where you might mistake Blackburn’s sustained vocals for Aaron Beam of Red Fang.
Cons: While this is certainly a strong EP, I would have loved to see This Summit Fever push themselves a little bit further.
Some of their songwriting, for example, could be smoother. Instead of seamlessly tying their verses and choruses together, This Summit Fever seems to occasionally slap disparate sections together—like the sections of the Doom and ethereal Psychedelia in “Reborn.”
This approach may ultimately limit their potential fanbase. Sure, there are people who love Royal Blood, and there are people who love Sleep, but those are two different groups that don’t always cross genre lines. It’ll take a listener of diverse taste to really appreciate every second of every song on Doubt.