Domkraft, Flood: Torrential Downpour

Posted in Reviews on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

domkraft flood

Listening to some of their more crunching riffs, Domkraft are easy enough to lump into the category of post-Monolord undulation, big tones and spacious vocals on a song like “The Watchers” seeming to make the Stockholm trio kin to that Gothenburg outfit. That, however, is less than half of the whole story. Domkraft‘s approach, especially on their second album and Blues Funeral Recordings debut, Flood, is a melting pot of modern heavy. Yes, that heft is there, but even more so throughout the seven-song/41-minute outing is a sense of drift and space rock thrust, a heavy rocking swing and bounce, an element of noise rock and post-metal in some of the shouted vocals and plenty of psychedelia throughout.

With rhythmic repetition, the trio of guitarist Martin Widholm, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland and decidedly-not-named-Martin drummer Anders Dahlgren affect a sense of nodding hypnosis from the outset of opener and longest track (immediate points) “Landslide,” which seems to earn its title via the consuming wash of wah and massive crashing riff in its second half — either evoking or causing the titular devastation; it’s hard to tell which. Either way, the earth moves, but as huge as its riffing is — and it’s not just at the end either; dig that turn at about 3:03 into the total 9:56 — that leadoff also performs the essential function of introducing the more sprawling aspects of Domkraft‘s sound. Those, along with the crush, the style and layout of cover art, the use of a well-placed interlude, etc., are things Flood carries over from 2016’s debut LP, The End of Electricity (review here), which was released by Magnetic Eye Records, but there has been a shift in the production as well as in the reach of the songs themselves, and Flood pushes farther out into open terrain even as it seems so ready to pummel the listener into those same grounds.

One might think of “Landslide” as a companion-piece to “The Rift,” which gloriously opened the debut, and it’s no less effective in establishing the tones and breadth on which what follows continues to build throughout the remaining six tracks. It is a natural progression from one to the next, and in that way emblematic of what is accomplished throughout Flood as a whole. Both “The Watchers” and the subsequent title-track are shorter and represent a momentum-building between them that simplifies some of the moves from “Landslide” but still ties to that song in terms of the elements at play, whether it’s the wah in “The Watchers” amid the Neurosis-style shouts from Wegeland or the tonal heft that they seem to make bounce in “Flood” itself, showing themselves as unafraid to play to heavy rock traditionalism despite being so outwardly modern in their approach. That is, it’s okay to like a fuzzy riff and a locked-in groove. No one’s going to yell at you. The sense of forward motion through both “The Watchers” and “Flood” is crucial, but no less so is the centerpiece interlude “They Appear to Be Alive” (one wants to put an ellipse before the last word of the title: “They Appear to Be… Alive,” if only for dramatic effect), which is less than 90 seconds long but serves in its sort of winding guitar mini-swirl to emphasize Domkraft‘s trance-inducing aspects and the psychedelic flourish that has been accompanying the sonic heft all along.

domkraft

It’s a slowdown, or a breather, after the apex of “Flood” and its downhill push with “The Watchers” following “Landslide,” but it efficiently reorients the listener and prepares them, almost unknowingly, for the second half of album. Already, though, we see the band’s modus is not unlike the match-lighting seabeast adorning Flood‘s cover, with multiple tentacles connected to a three-eyed, somewhat monstrous whole, like an Octorok from Zelda but with better graphics to seem all the more fierce as it belches smoke and carries — tellingly — a hook. Domkraft have a few of those as well, and though their songs aren’t immediately chorus-based in let’s-get-this-verse-out-of-the-way-so-we-can-get-to-why-we’re-really-here fashion, they nonetheless cast a memorable impression that all the more distinguishes the fluid balance of their material, shifting between styles while creating a cohesive entirety from them.

Side B begins with the tempo manipulations of “Sandwalker,” turning first to more of a pushing instrumental chorus and then into a sprawling pre-midsection guitar solo. Madness ensues. With increasing intensity, Domkraft move into a wash of noise and another solo before hitting the brakes again, and then go back for more speed before the song seems to pull itself apart. The chorus turns out to be the solo — an instrumental hook that proves all the more memorable for being the final statement the 7:29 track makes. That length is important because it speaks to the change in structure on side B. Where the first four songs were like a rollercoaster, climbing up “Landslide” and then rushing down “The Watchers” and “Flood” into the valley of “They Appear to Be Alive,” side B works as bookends. “Sandwalker” and the 8:09 closer “Dead Eyes Red Skies” (not to be confused with the 2013 Tombstones album, Red Skies and Dead Eyes) surround “Octopus,” which at 4:40 is the shortest of Flood‘s non-interlude inclusions. That change gives the album as a whole a more varied personality and the sense that the band are willfully not trying to mirror the two halves on each other, which has become the norm for those willing to put in the effort at all. By going another way, Domkraft make themselves all the more distinct from their peers, and “Octopus” gives a crisp reaffirmation of the effectiveness of its quicker side A counterparts while summarizing the rolling groove that has served the band so well.

The closer answers back with another fervent nod, but also a more patient delivery than most of what Domkraft have heretofore brought forward, allowing the tones to flesh out even as they ready for the next shove. Departure into a particularly psychedelic solo leads to a holdout of some feedback and a surge of riffing that identifies readily as the culmination of the record, getting thicker as it goes with the vocals still cutting through, mellowing out one more time, getting heavy quick, then cutting out altogether to finish with whispers over atmospheric guitar and bass. It’s a chaotic finale, but that’s obviously what it’s meant to be, and Domkraft wield it ably as they have done all along throughout Flood. The album is executed with a level of self-awareness across its span that further underscores that notion, and as Domkraft take this unmistakable step forward, they seem to show no signs of resting in this place either. I wouldn’t be surprised if their next outing found them dug even further into the realms of psychedelic ultraheavy, but that of course is just one of Flood‘s accomplishments on which they might build.

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Domkraft to Release Flood Oct. 19; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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As they make ready to appear next month at Desertfest Belgium 2018, Swedish trio Domkraft announce they’ve signed on with Blues Funeral Recordings — founded by the enviable tastes and entrepreneurship of Jadd Shickler, who once upon a time started a little company called MeteorCity and thereby helped shaped heavy rock as we know it today — for the release of their second album, titled Flood. They’re streaming a new song from the record now called  “The Watchers,” and one can only hope that The Watchers will respond with a track called “Domkraft,” but in the meantime, the Stockholm outfit will also feature on Magnetic Eye Records‘ impending Pink Floyd tribute, The Wall [Redux], about which you should stay tuned for more to come around these parts.

Domkraft‘s debut LP, The End of Electricity (review here), was issued in 2016. The PR wire fills in on everything they have going on, and there’s plenty:

domkraft flood

Domkraft share first track from forthcoming sophomore album Flood

Swedish trio Domkraft share the first track from their forthcoming sophomore album Flood.

The album will be the first release on new label Blues Funeral Recordings, founded by former MeteorCity (Truckfighters, Nebula, The Obsessed) cofounder Jadd Shickler.

Domkraft will also appear on Magnetic Eye Records’ massive Pink Floyd homage, THE WALL [REDUX]. Out in November, the song-by-song recreation and reimagining of the iconic Floyd double album features recognizable artists including The Melvins, Mark Lanegan, ASG, Pallbearer, Ruby the Hatchet and Scott Reeder, and includes Domkraft’s rendition of the song, “Empty Spaces.”

Musically, Sweden has always been exceptional at sensing and seizing upon significant moments. And at a time when political chaos and societal unrest have deadened our senses, it takes a band with monolithic, hypnotic power to secure our attention and offer a mollifying score to civilization’s decline. Domkraft are that gloriously massive and land-levelling band.

If debut album The End of Electricity was the soundtrack to the impending apocalypse, then follow-up Flood provides the musical backdrop to armageddon in full, The Purge-style swing. A strong contender to dominate a style some are calling the New Wave of Swedish Doom Metal, Domkraft wield a mindbending soundscape of obeliskian riff-majesty, layer upon layer of crushing fury weaving through the wormhole punctures of spacetime in defiance of beginnings and endings.

Majestic, annihilating, reductive and roaring, Flood merges blackwater tributaries from Neurois, YOB, Monolord, and Windhand into an all-encompassing torrent of nothingness and resignation, but in the most singable, appealing way imaginable. There is no fan of blistering, melodic doom on earth who should be without this record.

DOMKRAFT. Their name combines the Swedish “DOM” for judgement and “KRAFT” for power.

The seeds for this monolithic Stockholm band were planted in Gothenburg, where bassist/singer Martin Wegeland, guitarist Martin Widholm and drummer Anders Dahlgren met while playing in various musical constellations.

Bonding over the likes of Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, Sleep and Hawkwind, plus a fascination with trudging, 10-minute/three chord songs, they finally came together after each relocated to Stockholm. Drawing from the heaviest of their combined influences, the three spent spent years shaping and crafting a sound that blends towering dirges of annihilating doom, mindbending psychedelia, and hypnotic minimalism.

“Our songs build from one riff, played LOUD, then we add and lose parts to mold it into something powerful,” says bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland. “Focusing on the dramaturgy of the songs, we have clear images in mind when writing, often inspired by films like Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones, Stephen Fingleton’s The Survivalist and (of course) The Road Warrior, though we never let it interfere with the groove and energy. The results of our songwriting method may differ in shape from one song to the next, but the foundation is always the same — repetition and volume! You’ll eventually get sick of every melody, but grooves are forever.”

Flood will be available on LP and download on October 19th, 2018 via Blues Funeral Recordings.

Artist: Domkraft
Album: Flood
Record Label: Blues Funeral Records
Release Date: October 19th, 2018

01. Landslide
02. The Watchers
03. Flood
04. They Appear To Be Alive
05. Sandwalker
06. Octopus
07. Dead Eyes, Red Skies

Domkraft is:
Martin Widholm – Guitar
Martin Wegeland – Bass & Vocals
Anders Dahlgren – Drums

domkraft.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/domkraftband
https://www.facebook.com/bluesfuneral
https://www.bluesfuneral.com/

Domkraft, “The Watchers”

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