Resurrected from the rotting corpses of the Obsessed (which crashed and burned by 1996) is Wino's "stoner-doom-biker rock" outfit Spirit Caravan. With a low, rumbling wail that is a dead ringer for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-era Ozzy and a slightly faster, more melodic sonic edge threading through the electric sludge, Spirit Caravan is certainly not breaking any new ground here. It holds forth like a plundering arena rock dinosaur stuck in the La Brea tar pits circa 1975.
But one must admire the down-tuned, reverberating Brontosaurus riffing that rivals Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity in unvarnished heaviness and pinpoint distortion-soaked execution. The flights of instrumental wizardry and vaguely mythological lyrical imagery of early '70s blues-based heavy rock slugs like Blue Cheer is conjured up superbly on the fitting "Retroman," while "Futility's Reasons" crawls at a Melvins-like death pace akin to a snail slowly sliding across a freshly sharpened razor blade.
The 90-second blast of "Outlaw Wizard" is a demonic, speed-crazed instrumental that rivals Slayer in sheer maniacal velocity, and "Lifer City" is a lightning-swift old punk number where Sabbath collides head-on with Minor Threat, welded into a highly kinetic and twisted roar. The closing number, "The Departure'" is a schizophrenic slugfest of grinding muscle and slow-motion psychedelia that Dave Wyndorf lusts after in his sleep.
Step aside, Ozzy. Spirit Caravan is the newest child of the grave.