Leaden Fumes Stream Debut Album Abandon Ship in Full; Out Next Week

leaden fumes

Swiss doombringers Leaden Fumes release their first full-length, Abandon Ship, next week through Petty Bourgeois Broadcasts, and I’m pretty sure the ship they’re talking about is Earth itself. The band was started in 2016 by former Phased guitarist/vocalist Christian Sigdell (also of the droned-out B°tong and a slew of other projects) who, moving to bass/vocals, brought on board former Phased live guitarist Florian Schönmann to take guitar duties and drummer Jonathan Schmidli of psychedelic expansionists Echolot in the new trio. For anyone who knew Sigdell‘s work in Phased or got tipped to Echolot‘s 2016 debut LP, ILeaden Fumes is something of a stylistic jump, with tracks like “(Let Burn The) Temple Within” and the opening title cut before it dug into a cavernous and grimly doomed sensibility, shouted vocals echoing out over riffs lumbering or, in the case of the nine-minute second track, chugging into a bass-drone-and-movie-sample oblivion before surging back for a final two minutes of nod.

There’s something ancient and primal about Leaden Fumes‘ approach, speaking to the roots of doom metal as grown out from the NWOBHM, but at no point are they retro in style and their material veers further into extremes as the record plays out through “Ruthless,” which shifts into blackened screams and guitar squibblies with a viciousness and underlying severity that should please fans of Valborg, and into the deceptively catchy pair “Asphyxia” and “Chromophobia,” both of which transmit their tortured mentality through volatile transitions, creeping and shoving in “Asphyxia” — which caps with a sample describing the rush of choking during orgasm as “no less powerful than cocaine and highly addictive” — and more fluid in “Chromophobia” but with Sigdell‘s voice coated in an effect not quite like a megaphone, but not far off, obscuring the lyrics as compared to the barebones-ness of “Abandon Ship” earlier. The plod behind, however, is pure doom with just the slightest stonerly edge, and so the spaciousness created by the echoes comes with a corresponding feeling of largesse. That is, they full the space they create, and a psychedelic solo from Schönmann is a welcome melodic touch in the second half before it drifts off into noise and the crash cymbals that start the penultimate “This Bleeding Cavity.”

Leaden Fumes Abandon ShipAt seven songs and 41 minutes, Abandon Ship is hardly a slog, but neither is it intended to be easy listening, and one gets a sense of Leaden Fumes trying out different approaches across its span. To wit, the charred thrust of “Ruthless” or the psych-doom stomp in “This Bleeding Cavity,” which though the shortest take at 4:22, still functions to broaden the scope of the LP overall, touching on its own extremes in later reaches through subtle layering. Likewise, the plot continues to thicken through closer “Craving,” which brings together the howls of “(Let Burn The) Temple Within” with an atmospheric feel that rounds out in a sudden finish at a little over five minutes, which is about where Leaden Fumes seem most comfortable, as “Ruthless,” “Asphyxia” and “Chromophobia” are of similar duration. Abandon Ship is all the more laudable as a debut for the three-piece’s ability to shift their sound during those tracks, however, and whatever the runtimes might be and however the songs might interact in terms of sound or theme, there are ultimately no two that are the same in terms of style all the way through.

Given the context of Sigdell‘s past in founding Phased over 20 years ago and working across a variety of genres, one can only assume the aesthetic choices Leaden Fumes make throughout Abandon Ship are purposeful, but there is still a notion in listening of the band discovering their identity through these songs, finding out as they go how the black metal and the psych and the doom and the noise and the samples and the shouts and everything else might all come together into a singular focus over time. As Abandon Ship was preceded only by a 2017 four-song demo, led off by an earlier take on “Chromophobia,” it’s reasonable to think of their progression as bring in a formative if not a beginning period. They are, then, on a journey, and a somewhat grim one at that. The album’s mood, even in its broadest-ranging moments, is consuming in its darkness, and the feeling of threat and paranoia that comes through in their songs is palpable; a conscious challenge being issued to those who’d take them on.

So go ahead and do that.

Given its underlying nuance and abidingly off-genre-kilter feel, I’m thrilled to host the full stream of Abandon Ship below. You’ll find it accompanied by more info from the PR wire, and the recently-posted video for “This Bleeding Cavity” down at the bottom, just for the hell of it.

Enjoy:

LEADEN FUMES were torn out of PHASED – the cult stoner/doom band Christian S formed back in ancient 1997, and which he led through a multitude of line-ups up until 2016. Most likely Phased were Switzerland’s first stoner band – surely the were the only Swiss band to sign to Elektrohasch. So with LEADEN FUMES two members of Phased reconvene to wreak fresh havoc. Having switched from guitar to bass, Christian S is giving LEADEN FUMES the ultra low-end spark, while Florian S alone is responsible for the upper regions. The line-up is completed with young and talented drummer Jonathan S from ECHOLOT.

LEADEN FUMES recorded and released a four song demo-CD in 2017, and played their first show at legendary local venue “Hirscheneck”. In 2018 they not only played a local festival and headlined a metal-night in Zürich, but also played their first shows in Germany – among which “Deep Sound City” festival in Halle. 2019 saw the band recording their first album proper – in their own studio, and with Jonathan S at the controls.

The album is entitled “Abandon Ship” and features seven killer songs that range from slow doom to influences of math-rock and black-metal.

Tracklisting:
1. Abandon Ship
2. (Let Burn The) Temple Within
3. Ruthless
4. Asphyxia
5. Chromophobia
6. This Bleeding Cavity
7. Craving

Recorded at High Street Studio, Basel by Jonathan Schmidli and at The Loft by Christian Sigdell
Mixed by Jonathan Schmidli

Artwork by Manuel G.
Photography by Natalie Jonkers
Design by Christian Sigdell

Leaden Fumes are:
Florian Schönmann – guitar
Christian Sigdell – bass, voice, fx
Jonathan Schmidli – drums

Renato Matteuci – moog, backing vocals

Leaden Fumes, “This Bleeding Cavity” official video

Leaden Fumes on Thee Facebooks

Leaden Fumes on Instagram

Leaden Fumes on Bandcamp

Leaden Fumes website

Petty Bourgeois Broadcasts on Discogs

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