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Album Reviews

Hovenweep – ‘Salvian Journey” EP Review

Phoenix might be 300 miles from Palm Desert, CA, arguably the birthplace of the Desert Rock scene, but Stoner, Fuzz, and Doom are alive and well in Arizona’s largest city. 

That’s where you’ll find Hovenweep, a tight four-piece delivering towering waves of fuzzy riffs to create mountainous psychedelic songs that build to powerful conclusions. 

In Salvian Journey, their 2020 EP, the band delivers four impressive tracks one after the other, asserting themselves as one of the scene’s most exciting new acts. 

"Salvian Journey" EP Cover

About Hovenweep

Hovenweep is:

  • Mike – Bass/Vocals
  • Michael – Guitar
  • Wade – Drums
  • Jesse – Organ/Keys

Salvian Journey was engineered and mixed by Jesse Mitchell. It was mastered by Carl Saff.

Salvian Journey EP Review

Release Date: March 27, 2020
Tracks: 4
Length: 26:14

Track One: Cave

“Cave” is a solid intro track that gives us a feel for the band’s Psychedelic Space Rock-influenced Stoner Rock. Hovenweep guides us from the initial ethereal cosmic energy to bright, fuzzy riffs backed by bright keys and hypnotic vocals. 

The second half of “Cave” is a soaring masterpiece, featuring an explosive final solo that ascends into the tapestry of cosmic soundscapes. 

Track Two: Salvian Journey

“Salvian Journey” starts on a calmer note with the potential to build—and build it does! Like “Cave,” “Salvian Journey” features plenty of fuzzy riffs, ethereal vocals, and a swirling keyboard—but it eventually breaks into a cosmic version of Fu Manchu energy, delivering their unique style of Stoner Rock with dynamic vocals that cut into the foreground and propel the song forward. By the song’s breathtaking conclusion, “Salvian Journey” makes it clear why it’s deserving of title track treatment. 

Track Three: The Last Ones

A super cool, laid-back track, “The Last Ones” is perfect for singing along to while barrelling over the desert highways. While it’s the most Stoner Rock-influenced track by this point in the EP, “The Last Ones” still features that same enticing keyboard we encountered earlier, ensuring the song retains some of that Space Rock influence.

Track Four: I Am A Locust

Like “The Last Ones,” “I Am A Locust” swings harder to the Stoner Rock side of the spectrum, with its massive, fuzzy guitars and energetic riffs. This is another excellent track for singing along to, and its 7+ minutes of run time ultimately feels like the song was cut short—a sure sign of a great tune.

Final Thoughts

Final Score: 9.5/10

Standout Tracks: “Salvian Journey” and “The Last Ones”

Pros: Salvian Journey is a refreshing Stoner Rock EP packed with energetic fuzz, psychedelic keys, and a solid mix of Space Rock.

Hovenweep is a tight band with plenty to offer, and they’ve packed four spin-worthy songs into a solid EP that will ultimately leave you wishing for more.

Cons: There’s not much to dislike in this carefully-crafted EP. Sure, there were a few artistic decisions that caused me to raise an eyebrow on the first listen—like the screamed vocals on the title track—but a second listen helped these decisions make sense.

Ultimately, Salvian Journey is a solid EP, and I’m excited for any sort of follow-up planned in the future.

Learn More About Hovenweep

To learn more about Hovenweep, follow them on Bandcamp, pick up their merch and album through their shop, or follow them on social media (Facebook or Instagram). 

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