Friday, 27 May 2016

Conjurer - "I" (Mini Album Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: Mini Album
Date Released: 01/07/2016 
Label: Holy Roar Records

Captivating from start to finish, you will struggle to find a release this year that pertains such a crushing sound. Their heaviness seems to come out of your speakers and wrap itself around you. It tightens your chest and grips you, like a boa constrictor.

“I” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Behold the Swine
2). Scorn
3). A Chasm Forged In Dread And Disarray
4). Frail

The Review:

Until now, Birmingham progressive doom outfit Conjurer have been without a high quality recording to their name. Yet through word of mouth and their live shows alone – which are weightier than Jupiter’s merciless gravitational pull – the quartet have already become a force to be reckoned with since their inception in late 2014. So, not only does ‘I’ present the band in an official format for the first time, it also allows their brutality to unfurl through the most stunningly clear and bludgeoning production. If their tempestuous thrust doesn’t disintegrate your jaw upon first listen, then it will at least be on the floor, at its very mercy.

Describing the band’s “tumultuous, labyrinth metal,” the official press release states that their sound “draws upon Opeth at their heaviest, Mastodon at their earliest, Neurosis at their most blunt and Gojira at their most venomous.” Now, oftentimes these paragraphs sent to us music writers are laced with overblown hyperbole and frankly silly superlatives, but in this instance it paints a true to life picture of how this furious mini-album plays out. Any over excitement on the labels behalf is completely and utterly justified.

Paranoid broken chords cascade from the darkness that enshrouds this release on opener ‘Behold The Swine’ before the drop, monstrous in its presence, stomps into your periphery, hinged on demonic, gargled vocals and artistically crafted atmospheric guitar work that has vengeance in mind and post-metal in its heart. Dynamics rise and fall like the lapping of ocean waves, calm interweaving through their storms in the form of chordal quiescence and lucid soundscapes. It all transpires to keep you transfixed. In the guise of a beguilingly savage doom metal thump and a progressive thinking, they exhibit all the factors that their reputation has been built upon. Holy Roar Records have snatched up a monster.

Discordant battery is the name of the game on ‘Scorn’, early Mastodonian savagery, the bruises they wear with pride across a song that never relents. Musically speaking, the song is swarming with jarring notes and an uneasy mood, but it is a feeding ground purposefully and tactfully created and on which, they prey and wreak havoc. Melody is barren here, but there is something else nestling in its place which embodies a strong sense of character, making this more than just a heavy as hell composition.

As ‘I’ progresses, they begin to sew each track together like a dead skin mask. ‘A Chasm Forged In Dread and Dissarray’ snakes out of feedback and exploding cymbals with a Gojira influenced bite. Rapid fire tremolo picking gives the song a potent atmosphere and Dan Nightingale’s growled vocals sounding mighty at the summit of the mix. Their adventurist songwriting drags you down a path full of clever, awe-inspiring riffs and coveted nuances, while the trudging pace of ‘Frail’ would not sound out of place on Neurosis’Times Of Grace’.

Captivating from start to finish, you will struggle to find a release this year, especially one coming from an artist as relatively young as this, that pertains such a crushing sound. Their heaviness seems to come out of your speakers and wrap itself around you. It tightens your chest and grips you, boa constrictor like. Any moments of mercy, where you find yourself frantically gasping for air, are teasingly short lived. It’s as if the band has managed to personify their sound and, every time you hit play, you awaken a beast that thrives off your pain and misery. The twist in the tale, however, is that you too will thrive, sadistically, off its murderous intent.



I” can by ordered here


Band info: facebook

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