Scott Kelly + Wino + Man's Gin + Hunter Hunt-Hendrix

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Can metal go acoustic without wussing out? Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” excepted, headbangers have generally been right to wonder, considering innumerable glam-era power ballads, like Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” and other such sore thumbs. In this context, Adrift (Exile on Mainstream)—a new folk record from Scott “Wino” Weinrich, best known for fronting meat-and-potatoes doom bands such as Saint Vitus and the Obsessed—seems especially risky. The album’s success has everything to do with Wino’s hard-earned gravitas. A particularly grizzled lifer, the 49-year-old doles out both bitter kiss-offs and cosmically inclined reflections with a Tolkien-via-Zeppelin bent. As in Wino’s plugged-in projects, his bleakly majestic guitar work and rueful vocals turn what's hammy-on-paper into something epic. Expect the same from de-electrified billmates Scott Kelly (of Neurosis, as well as Shrinebuilder, another Weinrich band) and Man’s Gin (whose Erik Wunder hails from the black-metal outfit Cobalt).

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