Born in 2016 from the ashes of Atmospheric Sludgers Sòl, Portland trio Flood Peak have thus far allowed their more black-tinged slime to crawl beneath the canopy. Debut EP Plagued By Sufferers (self-released) is about to change that status, containing the shimmering lights of the former incarnation and uniting that style with a ferocious, darkened power which at times takes the breath away.
The mournful strings of opener ‘Precursor’ give way to Dylan Stuntebeck’s lumbering drums and a crushing riff, which gradually swells around Peter Layman’s diseased larynx. A fluctuating middle section switches pace and levels of anger: the gentle guitar duelling with a fulminating might, the drums capable of fracturing skulls with a frightening resonance. The ensuing ‘Scourge’ begins in similarly slow fashion whilst warning of things to come, the expected and poisonous vitriol pouring forth halfway in. Nevertheless there remains a balance of agonised melody against the aural violence, displaying such invention that comparisons can be drawn to such disparate relations as Kowloon Walled City and Primitive Man.
The grinding riff of ‘Mire’ maintains the feeling of crawling through an infested swamp, yet fizzes and howls with barely controlled vehemence until the track breaks its shackles: the oppressive mas at times claustrophobic, the sudden and brief descents into eerie “post” shards seeming almost as terrifying as the resulting explosions. Closer ‘Veiled By Summoners’ stays loyal to the template, the tender yet ominous quieter movements wonderfully dictated by Stuntebeck’s dexterity and the fluidity of bassist Pierre Carbuccia, the power shifts colossal yet moving in a tragic way.
Coming in at just over 30 minutes, this could have hung around a little longer. There’s true emotion here, a marvellous sensibility amongst the considerably skilled construction and prurient fire which makes it more than worthy of investigation.