Oryx combine waves of crushing doom with pulverising sludge groove. As a simple description of what you’ll encounter on this album, it serves, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The band’s apocalyptic heaviness also contains moments of dark introspection, moody contemplation, and shaded nuance, demonstrating that Oryx have more capabilities than to simply be able to punish the listener; there’s atmosphere and feeling here too.
The songs demonstrate a good knowledge of how to use blackened melody to enhance the music’s sludgy doom core, and there are many strong examples of this throughout the album’s 40 minutes of material. Oryx also exhibit a sense of both dynamics and expansiveness that most sludge metal bands are incapable of, and these elements really raise Lamenting a Dead World above the releases of many ostensibly similar acts.
The vocals alternate between scathing screams and pitch-black growls, both of which are well-performed and are really satisfying. Enriched further by guest appearances from members of Primitive Man and Blood Incantation, the vocals do the music’s strengths ample justice.
Lamenting a Dead World is a great example of how to produce a doomy sludge metal album, (with just the right amount of blackened coating), that’s far stronger than most in the genre. This is due in no small part to the band’s expansive sense of sinister atmosphere and foreboding mood, which help lend the music a depth that’s frequently lacking in sludge. This is my first encounter with Oryx, and I’m very impressed.
Very highly recommended.