Downfall of Gaia are an impressive proposition. Their blackened brand of atmospheric sludge metal is channelled into post-black metal songs that are both satisfying and immersive. We last encountered them on 2016’s Atrophy, and now they grace us with 40 minutes of new material. Continue reading
Now here’s an album that’s all about texture and atmosphere. Fringe is a cross between bands such as Neurosis, Inter Arma, Sea of Bones, and labelmates Jupiterian, to name but a few. However, on Fringe the band display their own dark personality, and are firmly convincing in their own right. Continue reading
Now here’s an interesting and involved release. I like something a bit different, and across the 65 minutes of material on this album Distance cover a lot of…ahem…distance.
Okay, I’ll get my coat…
Anyway…the Continue reading
Soothsayer play atmospheric doom/sludge that thrives on dense, dark emotion and otherworldly atmospheres.
This is slow-building music that wields atmosphere like a wrecking ball, crushing everything around it with the sheer weight of oppressive mood and feeling. Continue reading
This is an album that works its wonders in moods and feelings, spread over the playing time with lovingly crafted care and attention to detail.
I like that this album has quite a lot going on. Continue reading
Mixing Hardcore, Sludge and synths, the band create a dark sci-fi themed album that is quite apocalyptic in scope and feel.
Passionate, acidic screams ring out over a tide of crushing distortion, while relatively subtle sound-enhancements add texture and mood to the onslaught of heaviness. Lonesome backing cleans appear occasionally like a ghost in a maelstrom; spectral and mysterious.
Think Will Haven mixed with early Cult of Luna to get a good idea of where the band are coming from. It’s a dark and malevolent Post-Hardcore take on Sludge Metal and is almost as creepily atmospheric as it is oppressively heavy. Almost.
LLNN offer a hypnotic nihilism driven by a fatalistic acceptance of the fate of existence, which, paradoxically, also ends up being bleakly uplifting and empowering by the end of it. This is music to fall in love to at the end of the world.
This is dark, misery-drenched Doom that has a harsh Sludge edge, giving the band a nasty bite.
One of the first things that strikes me about Funerary are the jaw-dropping, ultra-intense vocals. They’re mainly high pitched screams or deep growls, although that description doesn’t do them justice. The screams sound rabid and the growls sound inhuman. Either way, they make a big impression.
This is 34 minutes of mind-numbing despair and utter misery. The songs are heavy, slow and full of depressed fury. This last point is an important one; for all of the Doom and gloom on this record, Funerary have a very angry side that lends their songs an aggressive dominance over all they survey.
Funerary also know how to do subtle though. It’s a downtrodden, malicious subtle and their version of light and shade is multiple shades of black, but subtlety is still within their arsenal. As such, there’s also a side of Atmospheric Sludge to their assault, which is always a welcome addition to any band and further enhances Funerary’s sound, giving them an added depth.
Throughout the release the feeling is one of a filthy, worthless existence, one that has no merits or positive sides just different types of pain and anguish. In itself this obviously doesn’t sound very appealing at all, however, when translated into Funerary’s scorn-filled hate-sludge, it suddenly becomes very appealing indeed.
It’s a relatively varied release, taking in aspects of the main sub-genres mentioned previously, as well as elements of Drone, Post-Black Metal and Experimental Doom. Largely though, it’s an impressive mixture of Doom, Atmospheric Sludge and feedback-laden nihilism, like a cross between Primitive Man, Esoteric and Khanate.
I strongly suggest you get a dose of Starless Aeon.
This is Atmospheric Sludge Metal that’s as heavy as a rhino and as daunting as a pack of predators. Their sound also includes elements of Funeral Doom, Post-Metal and even a bit of a Black Metal feeling in places; anything to heighten the atmosphere and draw the listener further in to their dark domain.
Absolutely colossal vocals stab out of the swirling darkness like natural disasters striking the unwitting and the unwary. They’re loud, inhuman and utterly compelling. They’re also used sparingly, and for the vast majority of the 59 minute playing time the instruments are the firm focus of attention. This works well, as the vocals are so terrifying that any more exposure to them might have the listener running for the hills in fear.
Below the Sun excel at Post-Metal build-and-release mechanics and wrap this up with a Sludgy ambience and general aura of pessimistic negativity that really is quite powerfully done.
The guitars batter, pamper, bruise and heal. At the end of the album you feel like you’ve been through the wringer both physically and emotionally, but you’re more than willing to do it again. This is an album that can only improve with age and repeated spins. Initially you can tell it’s obviously very good indeed, but on subsequent listens it really reveals its delights.
Music like this is never going to be a disappointment. The emotional investment of a band like this is always worth it and there’s so much here to discover and respond to. Envoy is an apt name, as it feels like you’re entering an unknown landscape, the first to explore these strange, exotic climes. You’re not alone though, as Below the Sun are your guides, shining a black light into all of the scary places and somehow making them feel even more harrowing, yet enticing at the same time.
If you’re a fan of Doom, Sludge, Post-Metal or just emotive and engaging music in general then Envoy is an album to journey to far off places to.
Very highly recommended.
Rorcal’s contribution to the split is 15 minutes of anguished, Blackened chaos.
On their previous album Vilagvege they had a Blackened element to their sound, with dark atmospheres and Black Metal-laced blasting appearing in places; on this split they appear to have embraced this bitingly harsh side of their sound to a greater deal and these three songs have a much stronger Black Metal influence. Having sampled the whirlwind Rorcal seem to have liked their taste of the darkness.
The Sludge is still here though. Blast beats there may be but they also slow things down to let the listener really feel the despair. At least for a short while.
I like Rorcal a lot and think that no matter whether they play fast or slow they have a talent for sounding both evil and agonised at the same time.
The first half of the split is a triumph then.
Having never encountered Process of Guilt before – what of the second half?
Process of Guilt’s contribution to the split is three tracks of Atmospheric Doom Sludge lasting 17 minutes.
They start with harsh screams that seem to escape from the void of negativity that the band shroud themselves with. They have a good sound that veritably screams for the apocalypse to happen and the hammering guitars combined with the very emotive and atmospheric aura of misery that they perpetuate is a treat to listen to.
Deeper, grimmer vocals share stage with these otherworldly shrieks to create a well rounded vocal package that complements the professional delivery of the band. This is Sludge to fall in love with.
Process of Guilt combine the abrasive, twisting parts of Neurosis, the relentless heaviness of Celeste and the dark, gritty atmospheres of Burning Witch to create 17 minutes of feedback-drenched Hell that any Sludge/Doom fan couldn’t help but fall for.
A 32 minutes split featuring quality bands and songs. What’s stopping you from getting this right now?