The artwork of Celeste albums has always been very striking and atypical, but I think they’ve outdone themselves this time. Continue reading
The tag post-metal can mean almost anything at this stage in the game, and on 3: Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals, Viscera/// show that they can pull off almost any style you want to name under its protective aegis.
In simple terms, I Continue reading
The latest Rorcal full-length Creon (κρέων) is an absolute monster of an album. A churning maelstrom of blackened riffs and grim intensity, it shows the band absolutely on fire and filled to the brim with darkened delights. Let’s delve a little deeper…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
We are a black/doom band from Geneva, Switzerland. We’ve been playing together since 2006 and our 13th release is out this spring 2016. Continue reading
Rorcal are an intriguing band. Having produced a lot of Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal music over the years, their last couple of releases have shown an increasing Black Metal side to their sound, which they now seem to have fully incorporated into their repertoire, (see their split with Process of Guilt, for example). In fact, they’re pretty much at the point now where you could describe them as a Black Metal band and not raise too many eyebrows.
This latest album sees the band offer forth four new tracks spread across 53 minutes, each one a monster. κρέων (Creon) once more demonstrates the band’s mastery of Extreme Metal in all its guises.
The Black Metal elements are present and correct, as are the Sludge, Post-Metal and Doom ones. Rorcal have always had a surprisingly clean and sophisticated sound, despite their predilections for darkness, and κρέων (Creon) is no different. The music may be grim and charged with an energetic negativity, but the band always seem to manage to sound cutting edge no matter what they’re doing, even in their sludgiest or most blackened moments.
These songs mix blackened fury with progressive intent and atmospheric Sludge. As always, whatever aspect of whatever style that Rorcal are currently focusing their attentions on seems to work for them, and the aura of malevolent aggression and downbeat nastiness that these songs exude is palpable.
So, Rorcal return, triumphant, bold and victorious. They are fast becoming one of my favourite purveyors of darkened delights.
The intro track Our Fields Are Burning is slow and meandering, and reminds me of Abandon. The singer barks over the first part of it and I like his voice; aggressive, legible and passionate.
June 2, 1910 is the first song proper and also the longest at just under 10 minutes. I’m once again reminded of Abandon, and their combination of Doom and Sludge with a dose of Crust is a path that Old Thunder also adhere to.
Having said that, Old Thunder also have faster sections that put me more in mind of a band like Rorcal with their Blackened Sludge delivery.
The first half of Sinking sounds like it’s stalking prey through a dark wilderness and once more I feel the need to comment on his barking voice; it’s very expressive and sounds really, really good. Nice work that man.
Rainroom has a strong despondent melodic streak running through it that focuses more on the Atmospheric Doom side of the equation, as well as some My Dying Bride/Katatonia influences.
The final track Serpent Sovereign is all about the dirrrggggeeeee.
My favourite parts of this release are the bits where the music slows, the guitars lock into a Doomy repetitive riff and the down-beat melodics come into play.
There’s also the odd moment of Post-Metal thrown into the mix, and even some clean vocals added in to spice things up.
This is a surprisingly diverse mix of Doom-esque sub-genres. All performed well and all, for the most part, sounding naturally mixed and not just cut and pasted together.
Slings & Arrows falls short of being absolutely phenomenal only very marginally. The first reason is the recording; there’s nothing wrong with it as such but I can’t help but feel the songs would benefit from a slightly fuller, warmer sound. The second is the songwriting; although very accomplished, especially for a first release, I feel it could be tightened up a little bit here and there.
Really though, these are very minor quibbles as this is a top quality début. On the basis of Slings & Arrows I fully expect that the next release from Old Thunder will be totally jaw-dropping.
Be sure to check this out.
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?