Wednesday, 2 November 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Dusteroid - "To Fathom Hell"

By: Bobo Coen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/04/2016
Label: Independent

They serve up a king size slice of skull crushing, heavy Sludge that feels like being hit with a sledgehammer repeatedly. Job extremely well done and then some

"To Fathom Hell” DD//LP track listing:

01. Crack (08:28)
02. To Fathom Hell (12:37)
03. The One (13:58)
04. Underdog Basement Jam (08:10)

The Review:

With so much great music at moment it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start when looking for new music. Some bands may slip your attention. Some great records may slip by unnoticed. Every now and then you stumble by sheer luck across a gold nugget. Dusteroid is that band. Hailing from London they have been creating music since 2004. They took a hiatus in 2013 but came back this year not only to play at Desert Fest in Camden but also release second album “To Fathom Hell” which they recorded live in the basement of the Underdog Art Gallery, and what a corker it is! Consisting of four tracks spread over forty-four minutes it delivers on all levels. You want heavy? You got it. You want a raw sound? You got it. You want songs that will stick with you? You got it in spades.

“Crack” opens the album with an abrasive guitar tone by Blaine, before kicking into a doom style vibe. TJ on bass and Sammy on drums lay down a groove that both swings and loosens your teeth. The sparse vocals have a similar attack to Jaz Coleman showing the influence of Killing Joke which is an alternative to the usual cookie monster vocals associated with music this heavy. A breakdown is followed by short vocal and bass interlude with mantra type lyrics. Krautrock repeated music motifs are abundant and just when the claustrophobic weight of groove threatens to crush itself, it opens up into a chorus and takes off like a greyhound out of a trap, albeit a very noisy one before masterfully jumping back into a mid paced stagger. A jangly guitar and delicate bass line sees the song over the finish line.

Next up is the title track “To Fathom Hell” A fat toned Bass line kick starts the song as melodic guitar warms up in the background. When the whole band kicks in it’s a mid-pace stomp following the bass line. A guitar riff with thrash tones is the intro to the main body of the song, which again delivers heavy with a capital H. The vocals have just enough gravel to match the stop start feel. It settles down into a syncopated march but doesn’t compromise the ragged quality of the song. Another mantra style lyric overlays this before the song opens up in to trashy middle section with a Crowbar like feel to. A wah drenched guitar solo and then it speeds up even more, hitting a wall of noise and feedback before a staccato guitar riff summons a landslide of crashing volume that the rhythm section crawls out of almost unscathed to allow a Iommi flavoured solo to birth a son of “Iron Man” stomp and then back into the original groove to wind up the whole affair.

The One” opens with a long reverbing echo guitar with a trippy space rock flavour. A pulsating bass line and cymbals similar to Pink Floyd trickle up to the surface under this. The tension in this build up expands into a marching riff before another riff moves it along, nicely building all the time. Nice loud ride cymbal work adds an almost Kyuss feel. It drops away to leave a riff playing, again building tension, before kicking back in, to great effect. The forward motion of the song is driven by some excellent drumming. At over the five-minute point with musical power firing on all cylinders’ the voice kicks in. The lost child of Jaz Coleman vocal adds even more tension and dynamics driving the song to even higher peaks. This leads to a chorus that pounds you into submission. The repeating motif rhythm does have elements of drone metal but without the quieter passages. The dam breaks and a short guitar solo escapes before being steamrolled by the forward propulsion of the song. A longer solo abuses the wah pedal to great effect. The longest and heaviest track on album which is really saying something.

The final track is self-explanatory. “Underdog Basement Jam“is the shortest track on the album and does what it says on tin. It fades in with the band playing a laid back psych groove. A discordant solo plays over a driving rhythm with the wah pedal in the forefront. This feels like Earthless, with added occasional chorus. It also conjures up eastern scales and Hawkwind grooves. A staccato guitar and tribal rhythm, break up the song before the chorus comes back around. An extremely quiet (by Dusteroid standards) outro see us to finish line and  it feels like it has left leaving me wanting more.

Overall Dusteroid wear many influences, particularly Killing Joke on their sleeve, but rather than doing an impression they take these and form them into a sound that is theirs alone. Considering this was recorded live in a world where mainstream metal bands use pro-tools as a fix it all, the complexity and dynamics of the songs is extremely impressive. They serve up a king size slice of skull crushing, heavy Sludge that feels like being hit with a sledgehammer repeatedly. Job extremely well done and then some  

“To Fathom Hell” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook