Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Slow Death : "Ark"

I unearthed a jewel digging into the inner webs for doom. This one came out a couple of months ago so we are not too far behind on it. Another Australian band, they have some good doom coming out of there. Mandy Andresen from Murkrat and Crone lights up the first song with her vocals, she is followed up with dueling growls, both gurgled lows, that are the post-humus performance of Gregg Willaimson who died before the album's release. Pallbearer's Brett Campbell contributes guitar to this album. Sure it is common for doom to often feel like a classical composition and the dense drone drags from one song to the next often seamlessly in the case of "Severance"as mournful song to mother earth. When Mandy's vocals come back in they work similarly as Campbell's do in Pallbearer soar over the grim rumbling.

There is some gorgeous guitar work at the beginning of "Perpetuate" before the smoother languishing side of Mandy's vocals lead in the oncoming chords of epic proportions. this albums sounds great and has a big sound on parts like this which need the added dynamic kick. It sails you into the gray clouds on opiate wings. These guys and gals have really captured what funereal doom is supposed to sound like they have fulfilled all the expectations and added their own touches. The two and a half minute title track is little more than a transitional piece. The only bad habit that they picked up which comes with the genre is really long songs. At over eighteen minutes "Declamation" might be as beautifully gloomy as anything I might ever want, but how will an eighteen minute song work on shuffle mode ? Good for road trips at night or in the rain. The guitars tones on this album are to die for me. The crunch is emotionally heavy at the five minute mark. This is going to be a tough album for any doom band to beat this year. They pick up the pace into a mighty chug halfway into the song.This album is a good example of how growled vocals can be used as a dynamic without creating the whole good cop/ bad cop feel of Myspace Metal.

Piano opens the closing song "Adrift". Then enters angelic yet ghostly vocals of Andresen, who is constantly showing different facets to her singing , like some moments on the last Pallbearer this song explores at time that place where shoe gaze and doom meet. The solo on this song is pretty impressive and that sort of thing while I like to hear the band has chops doesn't normally make me sit back and say "Damn, that shit was on fire." This is what I want more of in my life. Without question this is a 10, not a dull moment, the long songs don't seem long because I am engaged in it.

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