When I get personally recommended a record by Transcending Obscurity head honcho Kunal, then I perk up and listen. Ireland’s Soothsayer’s debut record was one I missed, but after absorbing the stuff on show here I need to look out for it. ‘At This Great Depth’ was released just before the new year, so I’m not too far behind!
Two monolithic tracks of atmospheric, sludgy doom are on hand to greet you as you unlock and open the door to Soothsayer’s warm layers of darkness. A gloomy melody peeks from the murk, while a shroud of heaviness slowly descends. This is the black majesty of ‘Umpire’; a collaboration of lurking heaviness just outwith reach and the ghostly, single guitar line that weaves within. Soothsayer’s canvas is a vast, desolate space populated with broken monoliths, a howling vocal wind and bleak loneliness.
‘Of Locust and Moths’ takes on the grinding mantle of ‘Umpire’s finale, and cranks up the uneasiness. The eldritch atmosphere is disturbed by a blasting savagery and unconventional songwriting moments. Accepting the sludgier, more visceral end of doom’s spectrum, ‘Of Locust and Moths’ adds tension, ferocity and variety to a record that shifts form like thick fog.
Emotive, powerful and miserable as hell, ‘At This Great Depth’ allows you brief flashes of hope, before sinking you back into the black, oily tide. Soothsayer hit a crescendo and never look back, and this record is almost too late to be one of last year’s great doom records. So I’m adding it to this year; first great doom record of 2017. Singularly affecting.