Album Reviews International Music

Cigarette Vagina: ‘Cosmic Empathy’ Album Review

Cigarette Vagina formed in 2015 and is a four-piece Stoner-Doom band from Pinhal Novo, Portugal. The band name may turn some heads, as the word Vagina isn’t one that’s normally used in a band name, but the strange and unusual moniker was a part of the initial attraction for this writer.

The music isn’t your ordinary Stoner-Doom either, and should appeal to fans of bands similar to Karma To Burn.

About Cigarette Vagina And Cosmic Empathy 

The eleven tracks on this record utilize “slow and nasty riffs, fast sections and a pinch of Post-Metal.” This description from their Bandcamp page is absolutely on point, relaying exactly what this band does to new fans.

The members of Cigarette Vagina include:

  • Ramiro Domingues – Vocals & Left Guitar
  • Filipe Pinto – Right Guitar & Back Vocals:
  • Daniel Negreiros – Bass
  • Rúben Alves – Drums

So without any further ado, let’s jump into the music that they created for us!!

Cosmic Empathy Album Review

Tracks: 11
Length: 51:15
Release Date: April 15th, 2023

1. Intro

Not much to dig into here, some effects-laden vocals and what sounds like synth work that lead into the first actual track.

2. Cats of Giza

Opening up a Stoner album with a Metal riff is sure to grab people’s ears, and that’s exactly what Cigarette Vagina does to kick off this song. There’s a fair amount of movement that brings a heavy groove to the forefront, powering the full two-and-a-half minutes of this instrumental track. 

3. Perhaps, All We Need Is Help …

Keeping the momentum moving as they entered this next song was a high-quality choice on their part. The energy remains on high as we find the band slowly fading into their more Stoner-Doom sounds, yet there’s a Post-Metal feel that lies in wait underneath, coming out in force during the section featuring a brief guitar solo. Some of the vocal approaches may seem a bit odd, but those bits are in short supply, and the majority of the vocals are quite good. 

4. Demons Around Me

The drumming during the intro has an almost tribal pulse, creating the ideal backbone for this song. They continue to maintain their energetic approach until the lead break, bringing things down for a melodic guitar solo that blows away any of the solos on the new Metallica album, lasting for the remainder of the song. 

5. You’ve Been Sleeping

This one has a Stoner Grunge vibe that brings to mind Nirvana if they had Richard Patrick from Filter helming the mic, but not until after a mellow intro and the first two verses have occurred. The riffs are on the more punk end of the Nirvana spectrum, something that lends a lot of power and attitude as they head to the end of the song. 

6. Doomsday

There’s more of the Grunge and Metal vibes that run throughout the album, but with a larger concentration on their Stoner sound. The mid-tempo grind is a perfect match to the lyrical content, the riffs have a great tone, and the vocals during the final verse have an excellent flow and approach.

7. My Hell

Beginning with a brief guitar dweedle, Cigarette Vagina soon transitions into a Stoner-Grunge vibe that may appeal to fans of Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots. The best riff in the song happens after the guitar solo, adding in a groove that accentuates everything up to that point, driving the rest of the song as well. The last vocals that we hear are superb, full of power and emotion, and is possibly the best-performed section on this album.  

8. Flirting With Death

This one is Post-Metal from its onset, and contains the absolute best vocal performance on Cosmic Empathy. There’s an extra sense of dynamics that the first seven tracks didn’t have, and the songwriting is phenomenal. It’s not a large stretch of the mind to think that they’d be very successful if they decided to change focus and do Post-Metal exclusively. This is the best track of the 11 on this record. 

9. Quicksands

This is another instrumental, but easily the better of the two. There’s a cool juxtaposition between the Post-Metal and Doom vibes, and the wordless vocals towards the end create a beautiful atmosphere. This is another example of Cigarette Vagina being at their best when they concentrate their focus on their Post-Metal leanings.

10.  The Space Between Me And The Door

The riff that kicks this off is heavy, groove-laden, and reminiscent of Alice in Chains. They eventually begin applying palm muting and a Tool influence to it, making it even better and more interesting to the ear. The vocals take on a slight Layne Staley sound during the verse, with the rest of this song covering the ground that they’ve done up to this point. 

11. Cosmic Empathy 

Closing the album with one of their strongest Stoner-Doom cuts was another smart decision. The bass and drum-driven first verse has a massive sound thanks to the phat tone in the bass guitar, and is the highlight of the track. As for the rest of the song, the riffs are solid, the gradual increase of intensity pays off well when things reach their peak, and the transition out of that and into the slower riff is flawless.

Final Thoughts 

Standout Tracks: “Flirting With Death”, “Quicksands”, “Cosmic Empathy”, and “You’ve Been Sleeping”

Pros: Cigarette Vagina excel when they are employing the influences that come from Post-Metal, but their Stoner-Doom meets Grunge songs are also enjoyable. There’s quite a bit for heavy music fans to dig into, and no one will leave disappointed when the album reaches its end.

Cons: While the Stoner-Doom elements are cool, the band feels more at home when they dial those influences back, concentrating on their Post-Metal style; the songwriting on “Flirting With Death” and “Quicksands” displays this perfectly. 

The only real issue is that when the band isn’t doing what they do best, they tend to sound too much like their influences and the vocals seem to be fairly inconsistent. There are times when the vocals are incredibly well done, but there are also bits and pieces across the album where they seem shaky and slightly out of key.

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