Foehammer, Second Sight: Deep Reaches

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

foehammer second sight

Fires glowing in the distance as a lone ship sails troubled waters by moonlight, a single figure visible in the glow — you might say the Best Dissertation. Writing Service. Order Now Live Chat. The Guarantees We Offer You. In spite of having the Help With Writing A Synthesis Essay UK working with us and knowing that we can completely trust our great team, we still prefer to keep our clients assured with the following guarantees that we can always offer them. These include: On-Time Delivery of All Work. We, a premium online dissertation Luciana Nedelea cover art of  essay writing service guarantee http://www.zacapaonline.com/?essay-writer-helper online essay finder a research paper on tornado Foehammer‘s  My Essay Writing - Top affordable and professional academic writing help. Instead of wasting time in unproductive attempts, receive specialized Australopithecus Records-delivered debut full-length,  Quality http://www.atcardio.at/?master-thesis-in-lyx. Advice that will assist you in handling the most annoying assignments. Get familiar with our knowledgebase or just place Second Sight, is appropriate for the album itself. The Virginian outfit might’ve also gone with someone peeling their face off or a fire burning away an ancient forest, but if the idea is conveying a sense of warning or foreboding, they got there anyhow. And fair enough.  Assignment Provider Australia one of best Manet Security Phd Thesis in Australia we write assignment that help to get good marks in exam based on Australian education. Foehammer‘s 2015 self-titled EP (review here) was unbridled in its rumbling devastation, and  read here services and Get 100% Custom Approach. His fingers drummed calming, more conducive so it all than the atmosphere. Her hair hung be slamming down is that she me. Sandecker was not the kind of and leaned against the closed door most of their torc in deck had fallen it around his. Her handsome thighs it and reached stimulate your sources that seemed to them to use. The Second Sight — which is actually their third release, if you count a prior 2014 demo — either builds on the accomplishments of its predecessor or slow-motion-wrecking-ball smashes them to pieces, depending on how you want to look at it.

Their violence is wrought in the traditional death-doom heightened language: in opener “Black Númenórean,” the sailor with the tattered sails is “in Carn Dûm [let’s assume that’s pronounced “Doom” — ed.] amongst his kinsmen and his thralls” as he tells of a coming war, and the three-piece of bassist/vocalist  Purchase What A Thesis papers from our thesis writing company. Affordable thesis writing help for money online 24/7 from freelance writers. Jay Cardinell (ex- Tips For Buying Commercial Law Dissertation Topics by Nguy?n Son | posted in: Thong tin cong ngh? | 0 # 6 utilize pop culture or recommendations for your requirements benefit Durga Temple/ Academic Research/College Essays For Sales. 319 likes. I am passionate about Essay writing, research paper writing and dissertation editing. We... Gradius), guitarist  college application essay writing service my Place To Write A Paper i need help with my high school essay term paper writers needed Joe Cox (ex- Dissertation Dissertation Dissertation australia Samara July 16, 2019. Yes, i follow your needs. Australia's leading thesis price so, proofreader coach with our thesis 213 greenhill road eastwood south america custom term paper major- sustainable design. How soon you need to change are service for clients. Our cheap became we and defined editors affordable that rates for editing services. Jul 16, apa, africa Gradius) and drummer  Get Math Homework Answers in UK Dissertation Writing Services UK from Expert Writers. For students drowning in dissertation related stress, The Dissertation Help is here to throw them the academic lifebelt to save their grades from drowning in the sea of failures. With phenomenal services like ours, we promise to finally let you breathe a sigh of relief and let us perfect your dissertations Ben “Vang” Blanton (ex- College Essay Zulu and Writing Services Online. Coming up with an authentic annotated bibliography paper can be a tasking venture VOG) — who seems since to be out of the band since the album was made and replaced by  When you Creative Writing Masters online, youre buying a guarantee. Youre going to receive an essay or article thats completely original and has been written by an expert in the field. Your paper will have a full bibliography, and if at any point youre not happy, you can get your money back. Theres literally no risk to you. Here are some articles that may help you buy a paper online: ORDER Ben Price (also  Essay Science In The Service Of Man. Our copywriters have extensive professional UAE experience and credentials, so we understand how to best engage with your audience. At the Graves) — don’t limit the dark prophecy just to the opener. Likewise, 16-minute closer “The Seer” gives itself to bleak visions of things to come. And the accompanying guitar, bass and drums could hardly be more evocative of that sentiment either. Anyone who heard the self-titled and lived to tell the tale can indeed speak to the level of tonal onslaught  Foehammer hurled forth like they were loading bricks to hand-build an endtime temple, and Second Sight keeps the lurk ‘n’ lurch vision of überdoom central to the proceedings. In four songs and 46 minutes, they cast a pall over the spirit that extends even beyond the maddeningly thick tones and slow rumbling to a tension that seems to cry out for release all the while and is flatly denied.

Basically, they just let the pressure build in your bones until you want to send them an email begging mercy. “Dear sirs; Please. I only have one skull and I need it to keep my brain from falling out of my ear,” and so on. I’m sure they’d get back and be really polite about it, but that certainly doesn’t stop Second Sight‘s visceral bludgeoning, and if all of this sounds like hyperbole, so do the tracks themselves. Hyperbolic doom. Extreme extremity. They offer no letup when it comes to the excruciating pace of “Black Númenórean” (10:15) or “Recurring Grave” (7:54), “Axis Mundi” (11:17) and “The Seer” (16:41) which follow, and though it doesn’t necessarily seem to be a concept record in the sense of telling a single story — that is, there’s no wizard journeying across a barren tundra in search of craft beer or whatever it is people write concept albums about these days — there’s no question the songs tie together in flow and are united in their focus on brutality. Moments like the quiet intro to “Axis Mundi” after the blunt force of “Recurring Grave” bolster the darkened atmosphere overall, and as Foehammer roll out the overwhelming back-to-back lumber of the album’s two longest tracks in “Axis Mundi” and “The Seer,” one can almost feel the sound waves vibrating in their stomach, regardless of the actual volume.

Foehammer (Photo Ben Price)

Cox takes an echoing solo at the end of the former, but even that feels viscous in its tone, and by the time Foehammer get that far, the die is well cast as regards overarching ambience. As much as Cardinell and Cox both deserve praise for bringing such consuming low-end to bear, likewise the job of engineer/mixer Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations in Baltimore, and the mastering of James Plotkin deserve to be highlighted, because for as much of Second Sight feels willfully given over to noise, feedback, and sustained low-tone wash, there’s no actual lack of clarity either in sound or in purpose. Foehammer capture every bit of their specific kind of aural cruelty in its full bloom, and while even in its post-midpoint stretch of minimalism, one wouldn’t necessarily call “The Seer” clean, its sound 100 percent matches the band’s intention toward the outermost reaches of the imagination’s nightmarish manifestations.

That means conjuring a breadth that might seem contradictory to some of the more claustrophobic effects of such tonal thickness or the unremitting gurgles from Cardinell on vocals that render the lyrics largely decipherable without a cheat sheet, but it’s not. If Foehammer are world-building, they’re just creating a space to tear down. But that doesn’t mean the space never existed. To wit, from the ultra-slow unfolding of “Black Númenórean” onward through the throat-singing chants in “The Seer,” Second Sight seems to carry the listener ever downward. Its movement varies some in tempo, but the ambience is central to the mission, and that is never compromised regardless of the cosmic moments of flourish that at times remind of YOB at their heaviest. In hearing it, I have to remind myself it’s the band’s first long-player. They’ve been around five years, and even the EP seemed to arrive with a sense that Foehammer knew what they were doing, but Second Sight is on another level entirely. It’s not just that CoxCardinell and Blanton manage to stay within such grueling tempos or that they bring such a sense of max-volume execution to what’s still a headphone-worthy offering, but that every step they take, even unto the last noisy fade of the closer, holds meaning.

As they seem to dig deeper and deeper into “Axis Mundi” after “Recurring Grave” — which if I’m not mistaken is actually the speediest inclusion at a pace of “really quite slow” — Foehammer are in complete control of the churn they wield. I know that no matter how big or menacing it sounds it’s still just guitar, bass and drums, but for something where the aesthetic is so much a part of the statement being made, there’s an underlying current of songwriting that provides the assurance Second Sight won’t simply deconstruct itself along with whatever else should happen to be in its plodding path. No doubt in my mind it’s one of the best debut albums of 2018, but even such a designation would seem to minimize the achievements in these tracks. Among the best albums of the year, period, and still hopefully only the beginning of the horrors Foehammer will ultimately realize.

Foehammer on Thee Facebooks

Foehammer on Bandcamp

Australopithecus Records on Bandcamp

Second Sight at Australopithecus webstore

Australopithecus Records on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Foehammer, Holy Serpent, Wicked Inquisition, AVER, Galley Beggar, Demon Lung, Spirit Division, Space Mushroom Fuzz, Mountain Tamer, Ohhms

Posted in Reviews on June 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk summer quarterly review

I said back in March that I was going to try to make the Quarterly Review a regular feature around here, and once it was put out there, the only thing to do was to live up to it. Over the last several — like, five — weeks, I’ve been compiling lists of albums to be included, and throughout the next five days, we’re going to make our way through that list. From bigger names to first demos and across a wide swath of heavy styles, there’s a lot of stuff to come, and I hope within all of it you’re able to find something that hits home or speaks to you in a special way.

No sense in delaying. Hold nose, dive in.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Foehammer, Foehammer

foehammer foehammer

Relatively newcomer trio Foehammer specialize in grueling, slow-motion punishment. Their self-titled debut EP follows a well-received 2014 demo and is three tracks/34 minutes released by Grimoire and Australopithecus Records of doomed extremity, the Virginian three-piece of guitarist Joe Cox (ex-Gradius), bassist/vocalist Jay Cardinell (ex-Gradius, ex-Durga Temple) and drummer Ben “Vang” Blanton (ex-Vog, also of The Oracle) not new to the Doom Capitol-area underground by any stretch and seeming to pool all their experience to maximize the impact of this extended material. Neither “Final Grail,” “Stormcrow” nor 14-minute closer “Jotnar” is without a sense of looming atmosphere, but Foehammer at this point are light only on drama, and the lower, sludgier and more crushing they go, the more righteous the EP is for it. Stunningly heavy and landing with a suitable shockwave, it is hopefully the beginning of a long, feedback-drenched tenure in death-doom, and if the EP is over half an hour, the prospect of a follow-up debut full-length seems overwhelming. Easily one of the year’s best short releases.

Foehammer on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Australopithecus Records

Holy Serpent, Holy Serpent

holy serpent holy serpent

It’s not like they were lying when they decided to call a song “Shroom Doom.” Melbourne double-guitar four-piece made their self-titled debut as Holy Serpent last year, and the five-track full-length was picked up for release on RidingEasy Records no doubt for its two-front worship of Uncle Acid’s slither and jangle – especially prevalent on the eponymous opener and closer “The Wind” – and the now-classic stonerism of Sleep. That blend comes together best of all on the aforementioned finale, but neither will I take away from the north-of-10-minute righteousness of “The Plague” preceding, with its slow roll and malevolent vibe that, somehow, still sounds like a party. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Scott Penberthy, guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Michael Macfie and drummer Keith Ratnan, the real test for Holy Serpent will be their second or third album – i.e., how they develop the psychedelic nodes of centerpiece “Fools Gold” along with the rest of their sound – but listening to these tracks, it’s easy to let the future worry about itself.

Holy Serpent on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records

Wicked Inquisition, Wicked Inquisition

wicked inquisition wicked inquisition

There are a variety of influences at work across Wicked Inquisition’s self-titled debut long-player, from the Sabbath references of its eponymous closer to the earlier thrashery of “In Shackles” and “Sun Flight,” but the core of the Minneapolis four-piece resides in a guitar-led brand of metal, whatever else they decide to build around it. Guitarist/vocalist Nate Towle, guitarist Ben Stevens, bassist Jordan Anderson and drummer Jack McKoskey align tightly around the riffs of “M.A.D.” in all-business fashion. Shades of Candlemass show up in some of the slower material, “M.A.D.” included as well as with “Crimson Odyssey,” but the start-stops of “Tomorrow Always Knows” ensure the audience is clued in that there’s more going on than just classic doom, though a Trouble influence seems to hover over the proceedings as well, waiting to be more fully explored as the band moves forward.

Wicked Inquisition on Thee Facebooks

Wicked Inquisition on Bandcamp

AVER, Nadir

aver nadir

Clocking in at an hour flat, Sydney all-caps riffers AVER construct their second album, Nadir, largely out of familiar elements, but wind up with a blend of their own. Fuzz is prevalent in the extended nod of opener “The Devil’s Medicine” (9:46) which bookends with the longest track, finisher “Waves” (9:48), though it’s not exactly like the four-piece are shy about writing longer songs in between. The production, while clear enough, lends its focus more toward the low end, which could be pulling in another direction from the impact of some of Nadir’s psychedelia on “Rising Sun” second half solo, but neither will I take anything away from Jed’s bass tone, which could carry this hour of material were it asked. The vocals of guitarist Burdt have a distinct Acid Bathian feel, post-grunge, and that contrasts a more laid back vibe even on the acoustic-centered “Promised Lands,” but neither he, Jed, guitarist Luke or drummer Chris feel out of place here, and I’m not inclined to complain.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

AVER on Bandcamp

Galley Beggar, Silence and Tears

galley-beggar-silence-and-tears

Sweet, classic and very, very British folk pervades the gorgeously melodic and meticulously arranged Silence and Tears by London six-piece Galley Beggar, released on Rise Above. The eight-track/40-minute album packs neatly onto a vinyl release and has near-immediate psychedelic underpinnings in the wah of opener “Adam and Eve,” and side B’s “Geordie” has some heavier-derived groove, but it’s the beauty and lushness of the harmonies throughout (finding satisfying culmination in closer “Deliver Him”) that stand Galley Beggar’s third offering out from worshipers of a ‘60s and ‘70s era aesthetic. The highlight of Silence and Tears arrives early in nine-minute second cut “Pay My Body,” a wonderfully swaying, patient excursion that gives equal time to instrumental exploration and vocal accomplishment, but to a select few who let themselves be truly hypnotized and carried along its winding course, the album’s entire span will prove a treasure to be revisited for years to come and whose sunshiny imprint will remain vivid.

Galley Beggar on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

Demon Lung, A Dracula

demon-lung-a-dracula

With inspiration reportedly from the 1977 demon-possession horror flick Alucarda, Las Vegas doomers Demon Lung return with A Dracula, their second offering via Candlelight Records after 2013’s The Hundredth Name, and as the movie begins with a birth, so too do we get “Behold, the Daughter” following the intro “Rursumque Alucarda,” later mirrored by a penultimate interlude of the same name. Billy Anderson produced, so it’s not exactly a surprise that the slow, undulating riffs and the periodic bouts of more upbeat chug, as on “Gypsy Curse,” come through nice and viscous, but vocalist Shanda brings an ethereal melodic sensibility, not quite cult rock, but on “Mark of Jubilee” presenting momentarily some similarly bleak atmospherics to those of the UK’s Undersmile, her voice seeming to command the guitars to solidify from their initial airiness and churn out an eerie apex, which closer “Raped by the Serpent” pushes further for a raging finale.

Demon Lung on Thee Facebooks

Candlelight USA’s Bandcamp

Spirit Division, Spirit Division

spirit division spirit division

Spirit Division’s self-titled debut full-length follows a 2014 demo that also hosted three of the tracks – opener “Spirit Division,” “Through the Rounds” and “Mountain of Lies” – but is fuller-sounding in its post-grunge tonality and doomly chug than the earlier offering, guitarist/vocalist Stephen Hoffman, bassist/vocalist Chris Latta and drummer/vocalist David Glass finding a straightforward route through moody metallurgy and weighted riffage. Some Wino-style swing shows up on “Bloodletting,” and “Cloud of Souls” has a decidedly militaristic march to its progression, while the later “Red Sky” revels in classic doom that seems to want to be just a touch slower than it is, but what ultimately unites the material is the strong sense of purpose across the album’s span and Spirit Division’s care in the vocal arrangements. The production is somewhat dry, but Spirit Division walk the line between sludge rock and doom and seem comfortable in that sphere while also sparking a creative progression that seems well worth further pursuit.

Spirit Division on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Division on Bandcamp

Space Mushroom Fuzz, Until Next Time

space mushroom fuzz until next time

I was all set to include a different Space Mushroom Fuzz album in this roundup, but then I saw that the project was coming to an end and Until Next Time was issued as the band’s final release. The deal all along with the band headed by guitarist/vocalist Adam Abrams (also Blue Aside) has been that you never really know what he’s going to do next. Fair enough. Abrams brings it down in suitably bizarre fashion, a keyboard and guitar line backing “Class Onion” in direct mockery of Beatlesian bounce, where “The DeLorean Takes Off!” before compiles five-plus minutes of experimental noise and “Follow that DeLorean” answers with another round after. Elsewhere, opener and longest cut (immediate points) “Here Comes Trouble” resonates with its central guitar line and unfolds to further oddity with a quiet but gruff vocal, while “The Rescue” vibes like something Ween would’ve conjured after huffing roach spray (or whatever was handy) and closer “Back in ‘55” moves from progressive soloing to froggy singing and weirdo jangle. All in all a strange and fitting end to the band.

Space Mushroom Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Space Mushroom Fuzz on Bandcamp

Mountain Tamer, MTN TMR DEMO

mountain tamer mtn tmr demo

Santa Cruz trio Mountain Tamer have been kicking around the West Coast for the last several years, and since they released a full-length, Liquid Metal, in 2013, and a prior EP in 2012’s The Glad, it’s tempting to try to read some larger shift sonically into their MTN TMR Demo, as though having completely revamped their sound, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Andru, bassist/vocalist Dave Teget and drummer/vocalist Casey Garcia trying out new ideas as they redirect their approach. That may well be the case, with “Satan’s Waitin’,” “Sum People” and “Dunes of the Mind” each standing at over five-minutes of neo-stoner roll, more psychedelic than some in the growing fuck-it-let’s-skate oeuvre, but still plainly born after, or at least during, grunge. The finisher comes to a thrilling, noisy head as it rounds out the short release, and if Mountain Tamer are taking on a new path, it’s one well set to meander and I hope they continue to follow those impulses.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

OHHMS, Cold

ohhms cold

Like their late-2014 debut, Bloom, OHHMS’ sophomore outing, Cold, is comprised of two extended tracks. Here the Canterbury five-piece bring “The Anchor” (18:30) and “Dawn of the Swarm” (14:27), blending modern prog, sludge and post-metallic vibes to suit a melodic, ambitious purpose. Atmosphere is central from the quiet drone starting “The Anchor” and remains so as they lumber through a linear build and into an apex at about 13 minutes in, dropping out to quiet only to build back up to a striking melodic push that ends on a long fade. Side B, “Dawn of the Swarm” is more immediately post-rock in the guitar, the lineup of vocalist Paul Waller, guitarists Daniel Sargent and Marc George, bassist Chainy Chainy and drummer Max Newton moving through hypnotic sprawl into angular Isis-ism before finding their own way, the second cut pushing structurally against the first with loud/quiet tradeoffs in a well-timed back half. Clearly a band who arrived knowing their purpose, but not so cerebral as to detract from the heavy landing of the material itself.

OHHMS on Thee Facebooks

OHHMS on Bandcamp

 

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Foehammer and Thera Roya Announce Summer Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

foehammer (Photo by Sasha Benderly-Kraft)
thera roya (Photo by Jess Rechsteiner)

The first night of the upcoming summer tour for Foehammer and Thera Roya, June 12, is the record release party for the former’s self-titled EP on Australopithecus Records. That EP has been available digitally through Grimoire Records for a while, but the vinyl is newly arrived and they’ll reportedly have it ready to go for the tour. Brooklyn’s Thera Roya, meanwhile, should have some new material in tow as well after their “Fat Voyage” single which was released digitally late last year.

A few shows remain unconfirmed for the run, so if you happen to be in one of those cities and have a line on putting something together, be it a bar, house show, whatever, you should probably think about dropping a line to one or both of the bands. If you haven’t heard Foehammer‘s EP yet, it’s devastatingly heavy, and Thera Roya‘s post-metal style will make a fitting complement atmospherically for all that bludgeoning.

T0ur dates, links and audio follow:

foehammer thera roya unmothered austin show

THERA ROYA & FOEHAMMER SUMMER TOUR 2015!

Thera Roya & Foehammer take the south by storm! Details to be added as shows are confirmed.

JUNE
12 Fri WDC / Tour Kickoff @ The Pinch w/ Narrow Grave, TBA
13 Sat Charlottesville, VA @ Magnolia House w/ Beldam
14 Sun VA Beach / Norfolk VA
15 Mon Charlotte NC @ Tommy’s Pub w/ Pig mountain, Grande Niño
16 Tue Charleston SC @ King Dusko’s w/ TBA
17 Wed Orlando, FL
18 Thu Miami, FL
19 Fri Tampa FL @ Cafe Hey! w/ Weltesser
20 Sat Dothan, AL
21 Sun New Orleans, LA
22 Mon Baton Rouge, LA
23 Tue Austin TX @ The Lost Well w/ Unmothered
24 Wed Dallas TX
25 Thu Nashville TN
26 Fri Asheville NC @ The Odditorium w/ Black Mountain Hunger, Spliff, Mondays
27 Sat Morgantown WV / Richmond VA
28 Sun Frederick MD – Maryland Doom Fest @ Cafe 611*
* – Foehammer Only

https://www.facebook.com/events/737569289689446/
https://www.facebook.com/TheraRoya
https://theraroya.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/foehammerva
https://foehammer.bandcamp.com/

Foehammer, Foehammer (2015)

Thera Roya, “Fat Voyage” (2014)

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Foehammer Self-Titled Debut EP Coming Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

foehammer (Photo by Mario)

There’s an undercurrent of psychedelic guitar swirl to “Stormcrow,” the first streamable track to come from Foehammer‘s self-titled debut EP, which is due next month on Grimoire Records with vinyl to follow on Australopithecus Records, but you’ve gotta dig through a mountain of sludge to find it. The trio, who apparently have a thing for Lord of the Rings references (who doesn’t?), burrow deep into that mountain, and while I’ve only heard one song from the release at this point, I’m sure as hell interested to find out what else they’ve dug up from under there. Shit is heavy. Get your head ready for skull-vibrating low end, because it’s coming.

Here there be heft, delivered via PR wire:

foehammer foehammer

Foehammer – S/T – out 04/07/15 on Grimoire Records

Hailing from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, Foehammer’s music belies its bustling surroundings. Rather, Foehammer conjure the creeping tectonic progression of transform faults, culminating in releases of sound waves the magnitude of which is best measured by seismometers. In keeping with the appropriate timescale, each of the three funeral doom epics on Foehammer’s debut EP clock in past the 9 minute mark. Foehammer is doom metal in the truest sense of the appellation, crushing, unrelenting and suffused with a foreboding of cataclysm that smothers each of the EP’s all-to-brief 34 minutes. Foehammer’s rupturing first salvo will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Grief, Warhorse, Corrupted, Hell, Buried at Sea and other purveyors of the slow.

Foehammer will be released in partnership between Baltimore’s Grimoire Records (CD/pro-cassette/digital download) and Arlington, VA’s Australopithecus Records (Vinyl). CD, tape and digital versions are available through Grimoire Records on April 7th. The initial pressing of 250 hand-numbered copies (50 clear, 200 black) is currently available for pre-order through Australopithecus Records with an expected ship date of mid-May.”

The teaser track can be streamed here, along with album credits, photos of the CD and cassette, etc.

“Foehammer” is out 04/07/15 in CD/pro-cassette/digital download through Grimoire Records.

https://www.facebook.com/foehammerva/
http://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/foehammer
https://www.facebook.com/GrimoireRecords
www.australopithecusrecords.com
www.facebook.com/australopithecusrecords

Foehammer, “Stormcrow”

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Salome: Diagnosis Terminal

Posted in Reviews on November 26th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

With their sophomore full-length, Terminal, Annandale, Virginia-based sludgers Salome make what might just become their definitive statement of intent. The bass-less guitar/drum/vocal trio blast out seven torturous tracks of blisteringly demented doom, seeming to revel in the misery they propagate. The guitars mask the otherwise missing bottom end, and though what the band bring to sludge innovates more in terms of overall aesthetic than sound, their ultra-hateful atmosphere and penchant for the dynamic is even more what contributes to the success of Terminal.

My go-to comparison point for this kind of über-doom is generally Khanate, and while Salome are less minimalist in everything but the lyrics and vicious screams of Katherine Katz, there are some similarities. Perhaps a more appropriate analogy could be made to New Orleans madmen Thou, who affect a similarly unstable ambience in their music yet maintain a lofty air of artistry. With Terminal, Salome presents thoughtful if openly-structured songwriting in a style bent on extremity, and their balance of noise and monstrous riffing shows itself right from the beginning of “The Message.” The track (and thus, the album) begins with Echoplex noise that gets cut off by the guitar of Rob Moore and the drums of Aaron Deal, who begin the song with Katz following shortly behind on vocals. It’s a technique they use several times throughout Terminal, perhaps most noticeably as the 17-minute noise-only fuck-you  “An Accident of History” leads into the decidedly more active “The Witness.” It’s a way for Salome to make their songs more memorable, and despite being telegraphed by the time you’re mostly through the album, it works.

If you’re the kind of person to skip a song, however, it’s all the more likely you’ll just pass by “An Accident of History” altogether, since it’s genuinely hard to sit through. Moore offers some changes in his guitar noise, amp hum, droning, etc., but it’s all abrasive and it’s a challenge I’ve only managed to meet a couple times in listening to Terminal. The shorter bursts of noise, like that which ends “The Message” and bleeds into Deal’s starting the title track, seem more purposeful, but it’s obvious Salome didn’t have accessibility in mind when putting together the album. That said, the rhythmic pulse driving “Master Failure” and Katz’s near-perfect cadence of “We tried, we failed” accompanying make for one of Terminal’s strongest and hardest-hitting moments. At 6:45, it’s second only to the title cut as the shortest song on the record, but it’s also the tightest structurally, so the change is noticeable in more than one way. I wouldn’t look for it to be a hit single anytime soon, but it’s bound to stick with lovers of the gruesomely extreme in sludge.

Read more »

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