Tuesday 30 August 2022

ALBUM REVIEW: Conan, "Existence of Immortality"

By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 19/08/2022
Label: Napalm Records

“Existence of Immortality” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1). A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots
2). Levitation Hoax
3). Ritual of Anonymity
4). Equilibrium of Mankind
5). Righteous Alliance
6). Grief Sequence

The Review:

Conan return to battle after a pandemic enforced break with this monster of a record. The band have carved out their own very specific and very special niche in the doom genre (caveman battle doom to be precise) and they have the unique sound, presentation and artwork that marks them out as a band in a category of one.

Messrs Davis, Fielding and King have created a savage beast here. The band have been reliable on record, but for me their high-water mark remained “Blood Eagle”. “Revengeance” added differing tempos, “Existential Void Guardian” was solid with a superb production job but is now- incredibly- four years old. “Evidence of Immortality” has delivered a hybrid of all the band’s best traits.

The opener, “A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots”, has the title, the weight and the riffs- it’s massive and heavy in the way that Conan are. Davis’ vocals are reverb drenched and deep in the mix; the Skyhammer/Foal Studio sound is in full effect as the drums and guitars are just huge. Chris Fielding has done an excellent job with the production and mix as per- it is crushing.

“Levitation Hoax” brings a nitrous injection of blasting speed and thus brings in a dynamic element to the presentation which is welcome and noteworthy. It’s a great track and one of the advance offerings for those who have taken note.

There is the much shorter “Ritual of Anonymity” up as track number three and it offers a catchy rolling riff and more up tempo shenanigans (although not blast beats this time). It’s a sharp shock of a track and a reminder that doom doesn’t have to be slow or drawn out.

That said, “Equilibrium of Mankind” is just that, both this and “Righteous Alliance” come in at just over eight and a half minutes but- crucially- neither track feels like it. They are both made for the live venue; dinosaur like in their enormity and insistent in their creation of the urge to bang your head. The murky atmosphere of “Righteous Alliance” is particularly effective.

Well, all the previous tracks are great- not a dud amongst them- but it is the closing track, “Grief Sequence”, that really lifts this record. It is absolutely brilliant. It deftly uses synths over a near-fifteen-minute runtime to weave together an epic tapestry of atmospheric doom. It may be the best thing Conan have ever recorded. Have a listen and find out for yourselves.

Overall, then, “Evidence of Immortality” finds Conan once again at the front of the pack in terms of British doom and with “Grief Sequence”, they’ve laid down a marker which other bands will have to try to reach. This is massive, heavy and savage in its brutality and direct approach. What is best in life? The answer is contained herein.

Evidence of Immortality” is available HERE 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook