Blacklab – In a Bizarre Dream (Review)

Blacklab - In a Bizarre DreamThis is the third album from Japanese doom band Blacklab.

Following on from 2020’s Abyss, In a Bizarre Dream contains 45 minutes of ancient doom sludge with elements of noise rock and old-school punk.

In a Bizarre Dream is heavy and thick, with a sound that’s more sludgy than its predecessor. The band’s fuzzy songs are imbued with a powerful presence, despite the music’s underground nature.

Dark and raw, the music is vibrant and alive with character. Synths are used to add textured colour, and Blacklab are never afraid to use psychedelic textures to enrich their songs. Crushing doom riffs are constant, while crusty punk explosions are infrequently embedded in the album like ambushes. Atmospheric sections are sinister and menacing, while other parts genuinely seem to offer an almost pop-like melodic sensibility, albeit ones draped in sludge and doom.

The singer’s harsh vocals are acidic and abrasive, carrying potent venom in their unfriendly snarl. Her cleans are melodic and emotive, yet still wear danger like a warning.

In a Bizarre Dream is a strong third album from Blacklab. These new songs are underground doom sludge monsters, with the added bonus of melodic, atmospheric, and punk components that most ostensibly similar bands wouldn’t go near, let alone pull off in such an accomplished manner.

Highly recommended.

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