Wednesday 24 October 2012

Lurk - 'Lurk' (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/1/2012
Label: Total Rust

The riffing is taut and focused – indeed, the guitars throughout the album are a lesson in how variations on a theme make songs. This approach gives the record a unified feel.

‘Lurk’ CD//LP track Listing

1) Soar (07:58)
2) Unfinished (04:10)
3) Codec of Becoming God (05:13)
4) Fire The Blood Sky (04:47)
5) Pitch Beneath Eternity (06:18)
6) Deliverance (08:01)

Lurk is:

M. Reinikainen | Bass
A. Pulkkinen | Guitars, Synths
K. Koskinen  | Vocals 

The Review

The record kicks off with ‘Soar’ which, in a way, the track does. The drums are massive and reverbed with the initial groove being replaced by a massive chugging riff with vocals at the lower end of the register. One of the great things about the record is that the vocals shift up and down in pitch with the music itself. This lends an extra dimension to the songs in a genre which at times can be very singular in its approach. The music thus ebbs and flows over the course of the song. There is quite a lot of light to go with the shade on offer here- and the usage of it is very well constructed.  An almost shuffle type rhythm heralds in ‘Unfinished’. The vocals come straight in and an insistent groove is artfully introduced. The riffing is taut and focused – indeed, the guitars throughout the album are a lesson in how variations on a theme make songs. This approach gives the record a unified feel.

‘Codec of Becoming God’ is segued into from ‘Unfinished’. More great grooves here- the vocals are even almost hooky although the lyrics are pitch black. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's that the album contains a track called ‘Deliverance’, but there is something in the riffs here that reminds me of Pepper Keenan era COC- strange but true! Let's be clear though- this is dark, dark stuff and Finland is not one of the Southern States so there the comparison ends. Overdubbing of guitars is used well here as are unusual rhythms and accents within the music.

Just beyond the midpoint of the album lies ‘Fire in the Blood Sky’. The riff that kicks this one off is simply superb! It drops to a groove that is too subtle to be aggressive and has those dynamic shifts that break up the verses and songs that are a hallmark of the album. The structure, the shifts in the music; it all adds up to being a great “song” in the true sense of the word. The vocal delivery reminds me of LG Petrov of Entombed in the mid nineties in places, but again the delivery is varied- different types of sandpaper if you will! There are even some keyboard textures here and they add an effective variety to the sounds on offer.  More ebb and flow can be found within the unusual groove of ‘Pitch Beneath Eternity’. Again, the guitars offer nice variations and phrasing that the vocals match. The tone of the track is rather... grand- in a good way. The range of the vocals is rather impressive and some nice production effects are added around the three and a half minute mark to build the track up again after a shift in dynamic.

The album rounds off with the near eight minute aforementioned ‘Deliverane’, a slow Crowbar-esque groove lumbers into earshot and a great riff reveals itself as the track builds momentum. The paciest section of the album is yielded past the three minute mark and the guitar interplay once again stands out. A bleak black metal type feel takes over and Lurk prove they can't be predicted as they shift the pace to a certified doom cadence. The final two minutes of the record is a slow descent into howling feedback. It is a very fitting ending to a masterfully dynamic and varied release. If you like some variety in your sludge and worship at the altar of more than one genre of metal then this record is most definitely for you. Buy it and find out for yourself!

You can buy the CD here and vinyl here. 

Band info: Facebook  | Bandcamp