Posts Tagged ‘Eremit’

Eremit - Desert of Ghouls

Review by Sandre the Giant

I waxed lyrical about German sludge doomsters Eremit and their debut record two years ago here. They have a mighty legacy to follow, even if it is only one album. ‘Desert of Ghouls’ is the newest piece from them, and it is out now through Transcending Obscurity.

Only two tracks here, but they total over 20 minutes so I think the legacy of ‘Carrier of Weight’ remains strong. Opener ‘Beheading the Innumerous’ swells through squalling feedback and schizophrenic drums into a fuzzed out rumble that groans with primal weight. This mighty riff cycles endlessly, soon accompanied by a tortured howl. It is hypnotising and smothering, slowly submerging you in mighty doom while you’re too transfixed to move. The other half of this piece, ‘City of Râsh-il-nûm’, begins to fade in gently, like a mirage slowly becoming clear. It’s over five minutes in before a churning groove looms into view, a bleakly relentless sandstorm of gloom piling dust on an ancient place. It feels like an awakening of some dark beast that dwells beneath a forgotten temple, lost to time.

‘Desert of Ghouls’ is a very apt title, as this feels like a journey through ancient lands and bewitched by ancient dark magic. There’s a titan weight to each track, an oppressive depth and darkness to each sallow riff and impassioned growl. Eremit blew my mind the first time I heard them, and they’ve begun now to move beyond our world and into something else. Something old and vibrant.

Eremit - Carrier of Weight

If there’s one thing that challenges you as a music reviewer, it is seriously long tracks. How do you explain why a thirty minute track is great, or it isn’t, without waffling on for literally half an hour. Well, German sludge doom lords Eremit have challenged me here, with ‘Carrier of Weight’, three tracks of massive atmospheric doom clocking in at over an hour. It is out through Transcending Obscurity in February.

The best way to approach this for me is to imagine it as a soundtrack to a film I can’t see. Opener ‘Dry Land’ is 22 minutes, building from quiet contemplative notes and whispered vocals into vast, groaning riffs of doom. Funereal in its atmosphere, an oppressive heft pushes down upon you, while abyssal growls summon you to the depths. When the riffs vanish, the quiet is almost as weighty. Whatever film I’m imagining is suffocatingly dark, miserable and nihilistic. The shortest track is the second, ‘Froth is Beckoning’, and it has a much more traditional chug to it; almost fast paced compared with the glacial crush of closer ‘Cocoon of Soul’.

That is the pièce de résistance; a vast world of rain, earth quaking riffs and foreboding dark atmospheres. The fact that this is a debut record is absolutely brain melting, and as for my complaint at the top of this review, well frankly I could write a thesis on the majesty of this track. From the creaking wood at the start and the gentle ominousness of the acoustics it takes a full eight minutes before the heaviness appears and then wow. The roiling riffs are mesmerising, crashing off you the way waves crash against cliffs. This is enhanced even further by a droning, humming background swell that increases the scope even further. By the time it fades away to nothing, there’s not much of you left to enjoy it.

Wrapped in a stunning piece of artwork from artist Mariusz Lewandowski, Eremit’s work is a staggering paean to gloom. Misery engulfs you like pitiless rain, leaving you sodden with sadness and doom. Bands that have been doing this years can’t come up with stuff this good, and Eremit are just debuting their primordial crush here. ‘Carrier of Weight’ is glorious.