Wednesday, August 19, 2015

He Whose Ox is Gored : "The Camel, The Lion, the Child"

This Seattle band has been called progressive doom gaze, and it starts off more prog than not. Its instrumental at least in the first song , sounds like there might be some screaming off in the distance , but I also only got four hours of sleep last night. Nope it was screaming because it sounded like the dry Isis-like bellow that occurs in the following song "Omega". I can hear the prog , but not shoe gaze and it's way too up tempo to be doom up to this point.The slow down to a post- hardcore like sludge on "Crusade" real singing comes in. Its the monotone chant that indie minded metal bands like Jesu use , but these are harmonized making them thicker. "Zelatype" does bring a groove out of ambiance but it would really be pushing it to call it shoe-gaze, it reminds me more of a darker version of Minus the Bear. They have a great guitar tone and the album is really well produced. The build up they go into on "Zelatype" works well despite the yelled vocals coming across as just very typical for sludge. The drummer really knows how to get the groove and play around it.

 More slinky atmospheric math-rock slithers out on "Alpha".This album has more metal tendencies than it is an actual metal album.The higher androgynous vocal that comes in is very Circa Survive and at times this band comes across as a more mature and thoughtful version of the prog-minded emo bands that came out in the last days of Myspace. It does get heavier and the gruff yelled vocals return while the effected guitar swirls around it , but it doesn't have a sonic drone to it."Magazina" starts with them yelling like a any one of the Neurosis influenced bands who grew out of the straight up roar. This song is not as finely constructed as the previous ones. It's very dynamic and if you are easilly dazzled by doses of math in your big riffs then this will drop your jaw. "Cairo" is very smooth almost jazz like until the hammer drops and they stomp into the distortion. The synths off set this and keep an air of atmosphere to things . There is a slight minor shift in the guitar that gives a hint of doom to the guitar , but in a manner more like something Mastodon would do rather than someone with an altar to Black Sabbath.

 They close out the album with a brooding piece of ambiance that is darker than the bulk of what this album has had to offer up until this point. The higher more emotive vocals come in for a passage that swells and then they crash out with a roar.Calling this atmospheric sludge prog , might be a better moniker for their genre, though it's more math rock than prog, less Rush tendencies . I will give this a 8.5, it's well done, though I don't see myself getting much mileage out of it.

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