Four albums, four small reviews, four great sounds.
Eluvian – The Doom of Edendalk (2019)
I’ve been a fan of Eluvian since recently reviewing their 2018 debut LP Prophetic Flame which is a fantastic and understated melodic death metal record with a significant emphasis on the death. This new EP, The Doom of Edendalk is a far more melodic and even more folky experience than I was expecting but their core signature is still there in the vocals and mixing. It’s well produced in that it still feels dirty in a way and not overproduced, there’s a nice middle ground that gives it an edge when it needs it and gives it a punch on the melo aspects. They’ve continued to get artwork from Luke Oram which is just about the smartest thing ANY band can do because the guys work rules. I’ve never listened to an album with his work on it and been disappointed.
Between this and their debut, I’m pretty excited about what kind of musical journey they decide to embark on next.
Many bands in the stoner genre pad their albums out with feedback and droning, basically time wasting nonsense that isn’t central to the vision of the record. Not here, it’s a concise and pointed album that any bong circle can enjoy. Perhaps giving rise to hilarious conspiracy conversations afterwards.
Deserts Of Mars – Return From The Void (2019)
On the catchy more anthem-like side of stoner rock is Return From The Void, an album with space themes relating to Mars, seemingly, though there’s definitely deeper ideals at hand. It starts off pretty typical but by the halfway mark it gets stuck in your ear like your dad said, you do indeed have “shit in your ears” in this case. Good shit. There’s nice cleans that can switch into a more aggressive throatiness that calls to action against tyranny, though vaguely so. I assume it is in regards to the unheard masses calling for eco action and the notion of having to abandon our planet at some point. The lyrics are well-written, doing a lot to elevate the album with heavy use of metaphor and very pronounced vocals to present them effectively. The relation of the endless space void to a sense of being voiceless. At 18 mins it’s a short album, but the swing of their fist hits hard nonetheless.
Doom Metal/Heavy Metal
Dirty Grave – Sin After Death (2019)
Do you like old school doom? Do you like King Diamond vocals? Do you like guitar solos? If you answered yes to all three then I’ve got your back with this second album from Dirty Grave called Sin After Death. It’s a classical doom template accentuated by classic British inspired heavy metal ideals, sometimes they alternate and sometimes they synergise. They execute it as well as you’d hope from that description even managing to tie in copious amounts of left-hand path themes and imagery. Have a drink every time you hear a reference to Satan and you’ll be as plastered as that guy who gets asked to leave every metal show he goes to. We’ve all seen him or been him (shout out to the Brisbane metal scene). The bass on this one is strong and often unique. It’s a lot faster than you’d expect from doom, always dutifully plugging away beneath the longer riffs. It’s a consistent and noticeable tone that provides a low “dong dong dong” chug to the soundscape, preventing the songs from ever being “too slow”.
This is a very high-quality album with 49 minutes of doom prophecies and guitar wankery. Gotta love it, it’s the essence of metal and its history condensed into one album. I have a few people in mind who this album is essentially designed for, you know who you are and how old you are and how much you love patches on your denim vest. Fucking dig in mate, this one’s for you. There’s nothing too new here but it sounds bloody good and ends perfectly.
Avant Garde Black/Death
Naturally there are some issues to work on, there’s some editing and mixing problems that would require addressing for an EP or LP. I’m sure he will find a good place to collaborate with to improve on this for another release. There’s plenty of bands of this nature in this town like Snorlax and Black Anal Goat Vomit, the network is there. The artwork is really cool and apparently done by Orbyssmal himself so well done!
Orbyssmal – Demo 2019
This is what I’ve come to expect of my hometown Brisbane when it comes to creative solo black metal projects. An intense sludgy guttural experience that presents its own kind of Queensland born nihilism (Seriously, fuck this state). This one isn’t for everyone but it certainly belongs on a cassette and in my collection, that however has not yet come to be as this is a recently released demo. In terms of demonstrating the projects ideas I’m liking what he’s putting down, it’s varied in it’s sounds and approaches rather than single noted. Sometimes it will sound like a shrieking madman and other times it sounds like pulling the plug from the bathtub and recording it (in a good way).