Lowered – Lowered (Review)

LoweredLowered are a blackened doom band from the US and this is their debut album.

Lowered play black/sludge/doom metal with skill, talent, and no small amount of grim mood.

The songs mix doom/sludge with black metal bite, resulting in slow, glacial exchanges of crushing riffs, punctuated by furious blasts of blackened ice, with plenty of action in between these two poles. It’s all covered in a layer of darkness and misanthropy too, making the entire thing a bleakly atmospheric and rather compelling listen.

I really like this kind of hybrid style, where the band take a selection of influences from underground heavy music and fuse them together into something dark and nasty. If you take various aspects of bands like Lycus, Fell Ruin, Agrimonia, Thou, and Fall of Efrafa, then you’ll at least have a starting point for Lowered’s highly engaging music.

It’s clear very early on that the band know how to write a song. Mixing together the aforementioned influences and styles could easily have ended up a mess, but the music that we have here is anything but this. Each aspect of Lowered’s personality is rendered near-flawlessly, and this is obviously a band with a huge potential if this malevolent collection of music is anything to go by. In fact, my only real criticism of this self-titled album is that it doesn’t have enough material to truly satisfy; at 31 minutes in length it keeps you wanting more. Which, in its own way, has its own merits, of course. Regardless, what is here is a damn good listen.

The album has a thick, heavy production that sounds like it’s going to flatten you. It’s still crusty and underground, while having a muscular presence that’s very pleasing.

The singer’s voice is bleak and sharp, lashing out from the music like a barbed whip. Her voice is savagely well-performed, and she carves herself a space in the rest of the music with uncompromising ability.

An advanced and impressive lesson in the art of combining multiple styles into a melting pot of blackened doom darkness, Lowered have produced a top quality album here.

I can’t get enough of Lowered’s grim blackened art. Very highly recommended.

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