Owlcrusher – Owlcrusher (Review)

OwlcrusherOwlcrusher are a blackened doom/sludge band from the UK and this is their debut album.

Here we have some truly ugly, colossally heavy music, the likes of which you don’t stumble upon too often. Which, for the listener’s sanity and well-being, is probably a good thing.

Containing three monolithic slabs of harrowing funeral doom/sludge with a twisted and warped blackened soul, this album is everything that a nightmare soundscape should be. A horror in three parts.

These songs are slow and heavy, forever moving slowly forward with glacial speed, destroying everything in their inexorable advance. Monolithic and filthy, the tracks create and sustain bleak, dark atmospheres with ease.

Despite the slowness of the instruments being played, Owlcrusher seem to be able to fill in almost all of the spaces between notes or drum beats with haunting, malevolent sounds of one kind or another. Frequently this is a vocal of some sort, of which there is great variety of delivery. Screams, growls, droning chants, and more, are all utilised to flesh out the music, resulting in a full and well-rounded sound that is as ugly and evil is it is hideously enjoyable and satisfying.

For all of the album’s nihilistic blackness, it’s not without its moments of melody or shading though. These tracks have clearly been honed and shaped over time into the behemoths that they are now, and show a lot of care and attention in their crafting. The songs are surprisingly emotive and infectious, despite how much they would probably like to flatten you into a red paste.

Imagine a crushingly hateful mix of Burning Witch, Usnea, Esoteric, VrtraNomadic Rituals, and Charger and you’ll have an idea of what to expect from Owlcrusher.

I must confess that this is precisely the kind of extreme music that I live for. Utterly daemonic and completely engrossing, Owlcrusher are quite simply one of the best doom bands around at the moment.

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