Tarlung are an Austrian sludge band and this is their third album.
2017’s Beyond the Black Pyramid was an enjoyable slab of colossal doom sludge, with stoner influences keeping the darkness in check. On Architect, Tarlung spend 40 minutes tearing through heavy music that shares much in common with its predecessor, but is delivered with a different approach.
The Tarlung of 2021 is a darker, leaner beast. You may think that this means that the stoner elements have been sacrificed, but that’s not actually the case. Instead, the same stoner/sludge/doom ingredients are all present, but Tarlung have learned to bake with them in different ways.
For a start, there’s more melody this time around, and a more textured delivery overall. Instead of purely smothering the listener in waves of thick distortion, (which they do still do), Tarlung mix things up with some less-heavy sections or some more nuanced riffing. This makes for a curious mix of stoner grooves and more refined sludge/doom influences. It’s when the band lean into the latter aspects that I get the most out of Architect, but that’s not to discount the stoner side of the band; combined it makes for a potent brew that Tarlung effortlessly make the most of across these six tracks.
The vocals are as nasty as ever; rough growls that are as focused in their intensity as they ever were.
Architect is a good step forward for Tarlung, and demonstrates a band that are staying true to their roots, while clearly wanting, (and achieving), more for the style.
A recommended listen.