Tuesday 1 May 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Garganjua, "Through The Void"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 11/05/2018
Label: Holy Roar Records

“Through The Void” CD//DD//LP track listing

1. Crushed Beneath the Tide
2. Adrift
3. Through the Void
4. A Distant Shore

The Review:

English progressive doom trio Garganjua came onto the scene not too long ago with fresh paint on a time-honored sound, to much conversation. Garganjua does a prog-infused stoner blend that is profoundly complex. While sounding familiar, there are many elements that are largely unexampled – languid chords that are more diverse than the standard stoner playbook, breakdowns that offer expansive arrangements that are mirthlessly heavy, and song compositions with three-part vocals that stay in a space where they manage to be long enough to tell a story without feeling bloated and exasperating. The band's debut EP "Trip Wizard" was well received when it came out in 2014. The 2016 full length, "A Voyage in Solitude," saw growing buzz for the young crew. The band closed out 2017 by announcing this four-song, 45-minute return.

"Crushed Beneath the Tide" launches Garganjua's newest. Its vibe is a forewarning of the forthcoming cuts, with a lingering build and formidable bass assault by way of Gareth Owen. At 12 minutes, this is an adventurous opener, but Garganjua keep your attention with a mix of clean singing and rawer vocals. Later on, the lyrical divergence pays off quite handsomely. "Adrift" relies on power chords to set the scene, before cresting on a slab of drums courtesy of Benjamin Weston, and devastating vocals. While shorter, it is one of the better cuts off the release.

In the title track, it becomes clear that Garganjua are a quartet that is trying to submerge themselves into new places with its music. This song feels more emotional and purposeful, a moody opening, into a clean and not-clean crescendo, then rolling into a valley of guitars. The song is a small detour as far as what Garganjua normally does, and it is a welcome shift. Now three records in, the band seems to be evolving in this regard. "Through the Void" as a song goes into some progressive metal riffage and pacing, for the better. As the track concludes, you have to appreciate Garganjua for being willing to expand what you know of them.

The album ends with "A Distant Shore," a more proggy conclusion of an engaging return. Here you will find the guitar work by Scott Taylor and Gazz Chambers is at its finest, creating an atmosphere that is vast and unfathomable. The first two cuts on this release are solidly stoner through and through, but it's the last two tracks that prompts you to consider what Garganjua can mature into. "A Distant Shore" is quite serene for the most part, but offers you something bolder as the song continues – its dirge is special compared to Garganjua's catalog. Where the group goes is anyone's guess, but this album is a powerful reflection of what Garganjua is and can become.

"Through The Void" is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook