This is the second album from UK sludge/doom metal band Wallowing.
Boasting the drummer of the amazing King Goat in their ranks, Wallowing play a sci-fi-themed mix of blackened sludge, doom, and noise.
When the promo blurb mentions acts such as Indian, Slabdragger, and Primitive Man, I can’t help but pay attention and have high hopes for Wallowing. A tad unfair on the band perhaps, but here we are. Besides, Earth Reaper doesn’t disappoint; this is the sort of ugly-yet-atmospheric doom-laced extremity that hits the spot nicely.
Yep, this is the stuff. Abrasive blackened sludge punctuated with both bursts of blasting aggression and mountains of crushing doom? Sign me up! Wallowing sound born to cover the world in their nightmarish vision, and those with a predilection for the style will revel in it once the lights go out.
There are seven tracks on Earth Reaper, but only four of them are actual songs. The three intro/interlude/noise tracks are forgivable as they only last about 30 seconds each, but as always, they could be removed with no detriment to the rest of the album. Of the actual songs, each one is longer than the last, culminating in the closing title track, which is a whopping 22 minutes in length. The entire album journey lasts 44 minutes, and it’s one worth experiencing.
The songs are brutal and heavy, with serrated screams cresting atop seas of churning distortion and noise enrichments. The band have a good grasp of dynamics and show many strengths across a range of speeds and dark feelings. There’s more than enough nasty aggression here to satisfy fans of merciless sludge, but atmosphere is a key part of the Wallowing formula, and they create this with apocalyptic ease.
It’s hard to dislike something like this. With a good, well-rounded production, strong songwriting skills, and a passionate performance, Earth Reaper is the sort of harsh sludge/doom album that I can’t help but fall for.
Well, what are you waiting for? Make sure that you get in on this before the end of times arrives.