Posts Tagged ‘Sludge’

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Finland’s Lurk are due to release their new record, ‘Fringe’, at the start of August and it is a multifaceted, layered sludge doom record that incorporates elements of death metal and black metal into a churning whole. Transcending Obscurity is dropping yet another modern classic here, as Lurk take us to strange and alluring vistas of pain.

The baleful opening tones of ‘Ostrakismos’ feel very black metal; cold and gloomy. It has a perfect balance of innate heaviness and a glacial bleakness about it, with whispered growls lurking underneath. Dense and murky, ‘Tale Blade’ lurches forward with tar thick groove and a deathly roar powering it. Imagine coating this powerful beast in the gleaming blackness of Panopticon, or Wolves in the Throne Room and witnessing the soaring black metal presence. The grinding fury of ‘Offshoot’ is brutal, and the unsettling notes at the start of the stunning ‘Elan’ mixes well with the an almost soulful vocal. Both of those, of course, disappear into a void of trudging, suffocating nihilistic rage, crawling from a black filth. ‘Fringe’ is a record that encapsulates much of mankind’s darkest moments, but leaves enough spaces for the odd ray of ethereal hope to shine through.

Mysterious, ghostly but very much rooted in the soul of our blackened earth, Lurk’s magnificent carvings into the walls of sludge doom are a sight to behold. Cavernous yet fragile, visceral and yet soaring, ‘Fringe’ is an album unlike many others. It is capable of touching you in ways you didn’t expect, never losing that primal heft. A unique addition to 2018’s canon of excellent records.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lurkdoom/

https://lurkdoom.bandcamp.com/

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Beldam - Pasung

Sludge doom collective Beldam’s sophomore record, ‘Pasung’, is a statement regarding true nihilistic heaviness. Dropping in late January, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions have put this out and it truly is one of the nastiest things to be released this year. Join me on a dark journey through misery, filth and black abysses.

New vocalist Randall Guidry really elevates this record instantly with the tortured, rasping growls he lays down in opener ‘Vial of Silence’; a choking, roiling swamp of a track where massive riffs rumble with tectonic depth. Abyssal rage coughs from the suffocating ‘Sunken Sorceress’, who coils black magic tendrils about this sludgey menace. Absorbing the grinding doom from early Sabbath and filtering out some of the more abrasive moments from EyeHateGod, Beldam drags this genre into new and terrifying locales. ‘Shed the Coil’ has a brutal, almost Autopsy vibe to it in parts, while the driving groove of ‘Carrion Feast’ is righteous in its nihilistic grind.

‘Pasung’ is a record that I have overlooked in the past six months, but now hearing it for the first time realise that there have been few records that truly capture the feeling of hopelessness found in Beldam’s work. This is raw emotion, coated in thick blood and set to mighty riffs of doom. ‘Pasung’ is a record that should not be lost or ignored, but raised on a filth encrusted pedestal as a monument, and a warning, to those who follow.

https://www.facebook.com/BeldamOfficial/

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/pasung

http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/store/hpgd164.html

With a name like Denim Casket, it’s almost gotta be old school thrash, right? Wrong actually, as this mutated Idaho trio are some bass led, noise mongering chaoticians. Their self released demo is available now through their Bandcamp.

Nasty, grinding sludge/death metal murkiness is probably the best way to describe this demo. The short, sharp blast of ‘Reverse Egg’ leads us to the rabid ‘Ham is Hog Butt’ that spasms and crawls like that terrifying lassie out of the Grudge. ‘Permanent Marker’ is similar, evoking this feeling of dread that is enveloping. Maddeningly heavy, due to their double bass/no guitar assault, Denim Casket grind along at the low, low, low end of the spectrum. Feedback squeals evoke EyeHateGod in the raw, sneering ‘Wrinkled Shirt’.

It is almost difficult to do Denim Casket’s demo justice. It is nasty, brutal music that doesn’t really fit into any real genre. Sludgy, abrasive, scowling; it is the aural equivalent of watching someone get their head kicked in in a filthy alley. Unpleasant but you can’t really look away.

https://denimcasket.bandcamp.com/album/demo

https://www.facebook.com/Denim-Casket-1641474882547114/

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The new record from Californian ‘space sludge’ band Archons is another trip into the unknown, powered by riff and wrought from psychedelica as much as doom. It was self released by the band in October of 2017, and if you enjoy a rumbling, doomy record full of hooks then ‘Lords of Light and Thunder’ is probably for you.

The burning, smoky groove of opener ‘Galaxians’ mixes the thick riffing of the likes of Kyuss or Crowbar but adds a little bit of White Zombie weirdness to it. Gruff vocals couple with the swaggering groove, and yet something otherworldly is in there as well. Strange bleepy samples appear, while the driving ‘Black Lotus’ interjects a little Baroness into the mix. ‘Lords of Light and Thunder’ is a record full of muscular riffing, throaty roars and psychedelic atmospheres; it is difficult not to enjoy the grinding warp of ‘Red Shift Demon’ or the grimy ‘Kid Nitro’ when each chunky riff slaps you across the face.

Not an easy genre to differentiate yourself in, but the spacey sludge effects of Archons helps. Their riffs are derivative but still great, and each track is at least recognisably different from the previous. Unfortunately there are a lot of bands peddling this kind of primal rage filled stoner doom/sludge and it’s going to be difficult for Archons to stand out. ‘Lord of Light and Thunder’ should not be missed though, as it is a fun album with plenty of great moments, particularly the monstrous ‘Mysterians’.

https://archons1.bandcamp.com/album/lords-of-light-and-thunder

https://www.facebook.com/archonsdemandcontrol/

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American sludge doom lords DeathCrawl have lumbered from the fetid misery of Cleveland, Ohio (full disclosure: I’ve never been to Cleveland, and I’m sure it is a lovely city but if these guys are anything to go by it sounds like a post apocalyptic wasteland) to deliver us their third full length, ‘Acceptable Level of Misery’. The band are self releasing it and it is out now!

The crumbling, nihilistic belch of noise that opens the brutal ‘False Oracle’ is somewhat typical how this record is going to go. Sludge is this amazing genre where true aural fucking hatred and disgust is personified perfectly. Death metal doesn’t manage it as well, neither does black. If gangrenous wounds could play music, it would sound like this. ‘Universally Diminished’ is a monstrous, lurching beast with that ugly, bluesy groove that most sludge bands slide under the radar. Another thing about sludge; it can be almost primally catchy in parts. The swaying, Mastodonian ‘Corrupted Earth’ is a standout for me.

DeathCrawl may stick mostly to the sludge/doom blueprint, but their work is visceral, intense and enveloping. An album that you can put on anytime and be sucked into, ‘Acceptable Level of Misery’ is a more than acceptable level of awesome.

https://deathcrawl.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deathcrawl/

Sludgy Arizona band Horse Head have already disbanded by the time you hear their final release ‘Terminal’, and it feels like I’m getting to know them too late. Their follow up to the well received ‘Missionary’ will appeal to fans of EyeHateGod and Rwake, but Horse Head aren’t mere clones. In fact, they could’ve been something incredibly special.

Opener ‘Inferno’ builds with rumbling bass and a cold, clean guitar riff then strong doom guitar crashes behind a nihilistic shriek. While lacking much of the squalling feedback of EHG, Horse Head definitely capture a more sun scorched take on sludgey nihilism. It is dry, suffocating heat with almost brutal takes on Kyuss riffs, rather than your murky swampy eastern sludge. ‘Throne of Lies’ is a stomping, Godfleshian nightmare where southern fried riffs take on a ritualistic, nightmarish edge. They remind me of fellow Arizonians Godhunter, especially in the deathly, sludgecore crush of closer ‘Price We Paid’

Horse Head have left quite the epitaph in ‘Terminal’. Sludgey, fire scorched riffs burn brilliantly under throat shredding screams and a dangerous sense of groove. It seems quite the shame that they have gone, but we have this to remember them by.

https://www.facebook.com/horseheadphx/

https://horseheadphx.bandcamp.com/