Tag Archives: Sludge

Kitshickers – Horror Vacui

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There’s probably no better way to celebrate a 15th band anniversary than with the release of a new album, in this case: Kitshickers‘ new longplayer Horror Vacui featuring 20 new tracks with lots of guest appearances and cryptic song titles. I remember the first time I heard this band was more than 10 years ago, when we still had this weird TV channel called Tango TV and when the Food For Your Senses festival took place in a humid, tiny basement somewhere in Luxembourg. At that time, this 4 piece collective playing chaotic alternative rock had nothing to do with the band we know nowadays.

Horror Vacui, 6th long player of the band, is something in between post rock and sludge, floating among melancholic depressive moods reminding of Mono up to hymnical highlights as if Isis would perform Pink Floyd‘s A Saucerful Of Secrets. Maybe a risky comparison, but you’ll get the idea after listening to the first five instrumental tracks, with Scarred‘s Yogi slamming on the guitar on nfr.

The first vocal appearance happens on the 6th track Lokavibhâga.1, featuring Cosmogon‘s Fabrice Mennuni, who’s got a short but striking commitment. I’d wished for a more aggressive vocal performance, as I know what this bloke is able to do with his growls, but that would not have fit into the concept, I guess.

Speaking of aggressiveness, the songs happen to build up into a multi-layered experience without outbursting into an explosion ergo a big wall of sound, which makes the listening experience even more challenging. The songwriting is diversified and too complex to be considered as boring or generic; plenty of work has been put into these tracks; the only thing that makes me sceptical is the suppressed aggressiveness. Don’t get me wrong but it isn’t until sunya where something really “big” happens in collaboration with Raph from The Majestic Unicorns From Hell, a song that’s got every ingredient of what Kitshickers‘ songwriting is all about; which is this blend between psychedelic world-weariness and simple outrage in one. Or maybe I’m just too stuck on their old album So That’s The Miracle Of Life, one of my personal highlights back in 2006.

Luckily enough, 273K could be described as a highlight for me. It’s sludgy and heavy, straight to the point; and I believe this song could be quite monumental when performed live on stage in combination with the following track buz&jég. I sense something epic on both tracks.

All in all, I have to say that Horror Vacui is NOT a bad album, it just takes its time to unfold its message / beauty. It’s nothing that impresses a distracted listener like me on first pass, but I’m pretty sure that this album can have a different effect once you see Kitshickers perform it live; which will actually happen this Saturday for their release party at the KuFa in Esch. So be there and make up your own opinion about the new album!

Eyehategod – In The Name Of Suffering

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The recent passing of Eyehategod’s drummer extraordinaire Joey Lacaze has had me revisiting all of their full-length releases from the very beginnings to the latest one this week. On this first occasion of writing for El Gore, I’m going to address one of my personal favorites from all of their musical productions, and also the one we could consider as their “first”: In the Name of Suffering.

For those of you who aren’t avid listeners of anything that has to do with sludge, stoner or doom, this band and album might not exactly appeal to your senses. Hell, I’d even advise people with sensitive brain cells to stay the fuck away from it, given the risk of severe irreparable trauma. But for listeners who thrive off of listening to music of this caliber, such as myself, this one is without question an incredible dose of vein-induced raw, ton-weighting, atmospheric misanthropic loudness, with lyrics ranging from themes such as drug abuse, self-hatred, depression and suicide to misery and murder. Straight from the beginning, with hymns of sludge like “Depress”, “Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist”, “Run It into the Ground”, the brutally hilarious “Godsong” (with the guest sampled quotes of Charles Manson) to the ending, and the one I think is my personal favorite, “Left to Starve”.

In the Name of Suffering is one of the few albums out there in the extreme music world that is, for lack of a better description, authentic, original, and scary for some. Their entire style and set up leaves the listener convinced that what they are hearing is real, regardless of whether or not they like it. It’s made clear that it’s not just a group of people trying to be extreme or shocking for the sake of it. From the swamps of Louisiana and the dark corners of New Orleans, it’s legitimate piss and vinegar coming straight to your melting ears.

This very first brew made Eyehategod pioneers of heavy music, and the release itself became one of the first of its kind, and certainly an essential pillar within the family. It’s the sort of album that can, and should be appreciated for how it has influenced the genre and paved the way for a number of solid albums. It’s certainly a genre-defining release. Influencing what came after, and a testimony to how Eyehategod would only get better with posterior albums.

Highly recommended to fans of sludge, doom, stoner or drone metal in general.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOi2Eg2yYKY]

This review was written by our new freelancer Victor!

Torche – Harmonicraft

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Two-horned creatures puking rainbows in a pink candy-sky-land. One of those covers that just oblige you to buy the album, no matter how it sounds. The good thing in this case: it doesn’t just look like a drug trip becoming true, it also rocks butts right from the beginning. And I can’t believe that the first song sounding like a metal version of “I Want Candy” is a coincidence.

Torche’s third album is something like a newbie’s guide to sludge music. You may even call it pop-sludge. If Fang Island is the good-mood-metal band of these days, then Torche should be the one for happy sludgy holidays. Harmonicraft cuts its own path fluently until the end. Popish guitars never take too long to drift into a distorted outburst, walls of sound never finish up being boring. You may not like the Volbeat-like vocals. Fair enough, but you can’t really hold it against those cute creatures. One look into their lunatic eyes when vomiting in all colours of the rainbow, and resistance is futile.

During the middle part of Harmonicraft the guitars slow down a little, giving a short breath to the visitors of candy-land.  The length of about 38 minutes doesn’t allow too many pauses though – the next thunderstorm is already waiting to come down on the listener.

The release may seem to become more and more monotone at first appearance, but the dynamics of sludge need more listening sessions to be spotted. The strong riffs even sometimes drift into a 70s rock homage without being insincere at all. The only thing which doesn’t match the overall appearance is the doomy conclusion, with best regards from Black Sabbath.

Recommendations: Letting Go, Kicking, Sky Trials

By the way, their video for Kicking would be a perfect aspirant for Trash Monday!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1obEt5dmmo]