When Green Carnation, the progressive Norwegian sextet that gave birth to avant-Black pioneers In The Woods, split for the second time in 2007, no-one gave it a cat in hell’s chance of reformation. Yet the green (ahem) shots of recovery spawned with 2018’s live album Last Day of Darkness (Prophecy Productions), and here we are with the band’s sixth album Leaves of Yesteryear (Season of Mist), in what is the 30th anniversary of its formation. Continue reading
Ask a proud American to identify the EoB and they’ll gaze, either wistfully or with revolution in mind, toward a grand old building not far from Pennsylvania Avenue. 2018, however, has given birth to another EoB – the Evolution of Boom, a kind of cultural reworking of the Low-End chords which brought all manner of sounds into the realm of enjoyment for the average music listener. Continue reading
Since their inception in 2013, Manchester quintet Barbarian Hermit has focused the vast majority of its Sludge grooves on live audiences around its home city and the rest of the UK. After two years of upheaval which has seen one original member return and two leave, debut album Solitude and Savagery (self-released) sees the band set out toward a brave new horizon. Continue reading
To say that Brighton’s King Goat set themselves a high bar with début album Conduit (self-released) is like saying that Donald Trump is a wee bit controversial. To merely label them a Doom band is, similarly, doing the quintet a severe disservice: that début was laced with emotional vocals, choirs overlaying evocative bridges, and light, textured instrumentalism. It was a tour de force precious few expected. Continue reading
The Ghost Cult album round-up is back in town for your vulgar delectation, with our penultimate selection of 2017 taking you down amongst the silt, with a selection of Sludge, Doom and post-Metal antidotes to any festive cheeriness that may be unsettling your disgusted souls… Continue reading
Brighton-based quintet King Goat has been gathering plaudits for a couple of years now. While their brace of EPs has been highly regarded, however, debut album Conduit (Self-Release) rips up that benchmark and propels the band’s reputation skywards.
It’s the Progressive, Eastern influence within their Low-end metal that has held listeners in thrall, and right from album opener ‘Flight of the Deviants’ that blends with a quirky, Karnivool-esque base and some Gary Moore-flavoured leadplay. The whole is given vivid colour by the alarmingly powerful voice of Anthony ‘Trim’ Trimming, Averill-like in its tone and versatility and just occasionally touching on Ozzy Osbourne’s high notes.
Each track here is a story in its own right, ‘…Deviants’ switching pace in segments, the spoken elements rivalling the scene-setting qualities of this year’s debut from The King Is Blind. The instruments swirl and swell around the vicious rasp of the three-quarter section before dropping into a Trad Metal-tinged coda, the leads howling their agonies after being a hidden star throughout.
‘Trim’ reaches new heights on the ensuing ‘Feral King’ yet, while his staggering power and range is undoubtedly the lead factor here, the contorting body of the track shows all five protagonists to be stars of this pulsating show. Its winding, crushing centrepiece still retains delicacy in the incredible harmonising of harsh vocals, whilst the ominous drama of the close is a joy to witness.
The title track, a paradox of complexity and simplicity, sees the seamless blend of hulking melody and crushing brutality reach its apex, whilst rarely breaking a slowly skipping tempo. The heartfelt melancholy mixes sublimely with those soaring eastern patterns, its choir-assisted third quarter a soaring triumph leading to emotional euphoria and a roaring coda. That barrelling force segues into ‘Revenants’, the guitars dancing tremolo patterns through steady yet intricate rhythmic pummel; yet the gradual drop to the gentle, sinister interlude is a thing of moving beauty.
Closer ‘Sanguine Path’ is an Occult-tinged Death-Doom workout somewhat at odds with the rest of the album, yet no less striking and fully conveying the resigned despair. Quite simply this is the kind of accomplished, intuitive greatness most bands hope to reach by the third or fourth album of their careers, yet rarely do. The UK has provided the Metal world with one bona fide classic already this year: here is another piece of staggering magnificence to rival and possibly surpass it.
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