Friday, 6 September 2013

Jucifer - за волгой для нас земли нет (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 17/7/2013 (CD), 17/10/2013 (Vinyl)
Label : Mutants Of The Monster / Nomadic Empire

за волгой для нас земли нет, album track listing :
01 - The Land Speaks
02 - Песнь просыпающегося города -- Song Of The Waking City
03 - ЛОЖЬ ВО СПАСЕНИЕ -- White Lie
04 - Боритесь, чтобы жить свободно -- Fight Hard Live Free
05 - Ни шагу назад! -- Not A Step Back
06 - Дом Павлова -- Pavlov's House
07 - ПОЗОР -- Shame
08 - Сибирь -- Siberia
09 - Волк (Скорбящая мать) -- Wolf (Grieving Mother)
10 - Эволюция I- Кочевники -- Evolution I- Nomads
11 - Эволюция II- Родина-мать зовет! -- Evolution II- Soviet Motherland Calls
12 - заградительные отряды -- Barrier Troops
13 - Новая могила -- The New Grave
14 - Королева - оленьи рожки -- Queen Of Antlers
15 - Patriotic Song
16 - эпилог – Epilogue

Bio :

Founded in 1993, Jucifer pioneered the sludge / doom metal duo. The band has performed steadily and released albums through the 90's and 00's on both major and indie labels as well as recently founding their own Nomadic Fortress label which is distributed by Relapse.  

During the 90's Jucifer was based in Georgia, but in 2001 moved permanently into their tour vehicle.  They have lived entirely on wheels for the decade since and have stated that this nomadic life was undertaken to facilitate playing "as many shows as we possibly can".    Their endless tour typically covers 20 or more countries each year.

Jucifer has expressed distaste for conforming to a genre but has invented names to describe their blend of styles including "deathdrone" "blackcrust" and "grindgaze". Their  live sound has been compared to Celtic Frost, Melvins, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Necrophagia and Napalm Death, as well as bands of their own generation (Jesus Lizard, Darkthrone, Neurosis, Morbid Angel, Harvey Milk, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Acid King) and younger groups Lightning Bolt and Sunn0))).
 July 17, 2013 will see the release of Jucifer's eighth studio album ' за волгой для нас земли нет ' .

The Band :
Edgar Livengood :  drum, bass
Amber Valentine :  guitar, vocals

Review :

Unlike other Jucifer records, the band’s latest release—with a title entirely in Russian—pushes boundaries in terms of theme. While previous albums held more conventional subject matter and music, the two-piece’s latest album crushes like Stalinism and Russia’s iron first long banished to the depths of history’s gloomy past; the Soviet era. It’s admittedly as weird as it sounds, but it works out well, appearing much denser than other sludge efforts, with songs that trudge along for nearly 10 minutes.

Repetition is key to achieving the forlorn atmosphere. One can feel each heavily distorted riff’s texture with the help of a good pair of headphones, and the end result is a crushing assortment of grinding grooves found exclusively in sludgey music. Likewise, the drumming is as minimalistic as can be and avoids any technical witchcraft as it devastatingly accents each guitar part. Without this brilliant teamwork—only possible in a two-piece like Jucifer—the release wouldn’t be half as strong as it is. The little details truly make a difference.

Attention to detail makes a compelling case for the record as a whole, too. “Evolution I: Nomads” is easily the highlight of the track listing with the bleakest atmosphere the album offers—the other songs don’t even come close. In comparison, the remainder of the release feels tame in its approach to the Soviet Union’s despondency, but still manages to sonically capture the collective mindset at the time.

Even so, a small portion of the record is decidedly more uplifting, the song in question being “The New Grave.” The track seems to promise positivity with a rhythmic groove, and its position near the end of the album suggests a resolution to the issues at hand, a clever move on Jucifer’s part. Shrouded in mystery, the message is left open to interpretation and acts as yet another reason to keep revisiting the music.

In the end, though, Jucifer’s latest release is a coherent product, flowing 78 minutes without any quips. The cover art is spot on. The music hits home for sludge and doom fans. And the theme is wonderfully fresh. Recommended in every sense of the word.

Words by : Adam @ The Metal Advisor

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links. You can buy the CD here now and vinyl will be available from 17/10/2013. Thanks to David Hall @ Hanshake Inc, Mutants of the Monster. 

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