Disbelief – Shine – 4.5/5
How do you match the unconventionality of ‘Kludde;’ a mixture of black metal and sludge? Welcome to the other side of the extreme spectrum; an atmospheric blend of Sludge and Death Metal. A merging of styles, the sludge groove making a prominent appearance through the thick atmospheric bass, providing a demonic mid-paced mood filled with despair ridden emotional vocals and cleaner guitars layered on top. This is groove riddled ‘Cult of Luna’ without those annoying slow monotonous sections, a (early) ‘Amorphis’ blended with ‘Bolt Thrower’, or ‘Fen’ if they took lessons from ‘Eyehategod’ on how to sound downright dirty.
The drums are perhaps the least impressive in this line-up, providing no shortage of rhythms and beats, supplying the occasional fill they do more than what’s required of them but all too often feel overshadowed in the end result – but not by being too far back in the production; they come through prominently assisting in supplying the atmosphere, instead its just the wealth of rhythms provided by the other instruments that draws focus away from them. The bass comes through loud and clear and bears the brunt of the responsibility in creating the backing atmosphere, thick and deeply distorted he performs riffs that complement the guitars without simply following them and creating the base rhythm to work from.
Layered on top are cleaner guitars performing thick chord based riffs or thinner ‘twangy’ riffs, juxtaposing the altogether thick tone, cutting through to supply an additional layer of instrumentation. Couple the guitars with the vocal work, working the lower mid-range in an emotionally drawn out manner, it results in a tone of despair somewhere between the most depressive of the doom genres and the more melancholic death metal outfit. Perfectly suited to this particularly unique style they provide a sense of emotion sustaining it for multiple listens, adding to the atmosphere already produced.
It is more than just the individual instrumentation here, the manner in which the combine complements each other, fitting seamlessly each track feels like a solid entity rather than perhaps disjointed as other artists can. It’s not the most technical piece, but it succeeds in maintaining an emotional feel whilst simultaneously providing an addictive sludge groove. With only a couple of sub-par tracks letting it down, and the lack of variation in the tempo – particularly with regards to some of the riffs – this remains one of the stronger discoveries in this special.
Highlights: No Control, Me and My World, Honour Killings