Sons of Arrakis are a four-piece stoner rock band from Montréal, Quebec. The group formed in 2019 with a strong affinity for the writings of Frank Herbert. Their name and much of their work reference Dune, the sci-fi series by Herbert. The band refers to their work as “Melange rock and cinematic sci-fi rock.” Melange refers to the hallucinogenic spice drug from Dune. For stoner rock fans who also enjoy Herbert’s work, you’re in for a real sci-fi treat, but for the casual stoner rock fan, don’t worry: You don’t have to be familiar with the book series to enjoy the music, although Sons of Arrakis may make you want to check out the books or movies.
Musically, the band delivers massive doses of seriously groovy riff rock and fantasy lyrics in the vein of bands like The Sword and Telekinetic Yeti. Volume 1, the band’s debut record, was released in July. It’s both epic and brisk, clocking in at a cool 30 minutes with eight tracks. In the past, my friend Nashville Eric and I judged good albums, such as Led Zeppelin III, on their ability to leave you wanting more. Sons’ Volume 1 will leave you wanting more and looking forward to Volume 2.
1. Shai-Hulud 1:33
2. The Black Mirror 3:43
3. Complete Obliteration 4:01
4. Temple of the Desert 4:26
5. Omniscient Messiah 4:12
6. Lonesome Preacher 5:13
7. Abomination 4:37
8. Shai-Hulud (Sequel) 2:19
Frédéric Couture’s vocals are dynamic and high flying, delivered in his own unique style, with catchy melodies. The Black Mirror gives a good example of Couture’s high register. He also executes some nice harmonies, even evoking some Alice in Chains vibes on Complete Obliteration. Lyrically, the album discusses some hefty themes such as philosophy, warfare, religion, and systematic subjugation, all with that subtle Frank Herbert influence. Many of the tracks, such as Shai Hulud, Abomination, Omniscient Messiah, and Lonesome Preacher also reference characters in the Duniverse. Lyrics here.
Francis Duchesne on lead guitars along with Couture on rhythm guitars establish an absolutely fuzzy juggernaut of chuggy, progressive riffs with strong heavy blues vibes. They set the heavy bluesy mood on instrumental opener, Shai Hulud, which is also continued on the album closer, Shai Hulud Sequel. There are also awesome dual guitar leads throughout. Listen to Temple of the Desert, Abomination, and Complete Obliteration for some prime dual guitar leads. Complete Obliteration and Omniscient Messiah also feature blazing guitar solos.
Mathieu Racine’s drum sound is groovy and in the pocket. From the very start, the drummer sets the standard for the album with some heavy blues style. Check out Temple of the Desert for an awesome bluesy shuffle pattern. He’s got chops too. Listen to the start and finish of Abomination for some technical and fast drumming, in the vein of Trivett Wingo of The Sword fame. On bass, Vick Trigger is the perfect rhythmic counterpart, delivering track after track of deep grooves, perfectly in sync with Racine’s drum patterns. Get lost in the deep groove of tracks like Omniscient Messiah and Abomination, where the powerhouse pair deliver tasty change-ups and progressive jams.
Volume 1 is available for digital download on Bandcamp for Name Your Price! Vinyl is available for $30 and CDs for just over $10. The band’s graphic artist, Alexandre Goulet, did an awesome job of creating Dune-influenced art for the band, and the band has a poster and t-shirts featuring many of the spacy designs on their merch page. An interview and live acoustic recording of the band was recently featured on a podcast by The Stoner Rock Army‘s The General, Eric Varasifsky. Also, check out Distorted Sound Magazine’s article, which goes in depth (SPOILERS) regarding the band’s direct Dune references.