Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Low Flying Hawks - Kōfuku (Album Review)


Release date: February 12th 2016. Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Kōfuku – Tracklisting

1.Kōfuku
2.Now, Apocalypse
3.Seafloor Fathoms
4.Fading Sun
5.White Temple
6.Kokkai
7.Ruins
8.Wolves Within Wolves
9.Till the Night Meets the Light
10.Destruction Complete

Band Members:

EHA - Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals
AAL - Guitar, Bass, Additional Vocals
Trevor Dunn - Bass
Dale Crover - Drums

Review:

Low Flying Hawks consists of two members called EHA (Guitar, Bass and Lead Vocals) and AAL (Guitar, Bass and Additional Vocals) who have been classed as Heavygaze. I don’t know what that term actually means but their debut album – Kōfuku – is loud, brash, and chaotic with an almost violent unpredictable nature. The band blend Doom, Noise, Sludge, Post-Metal, Post-Rock, Ambient Noise and Industrial sounds for one complex sounding album.

The album has been produced and engineered by Toshi Kasai (Big Business and The Melvins) and has guest appearances from Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle) and Dale Crower (The Melvins). So you know the album is going to at least sound good and be heavy especially in the drumming and bass department.

The album starts off bleak and stays that way for the whole duration of the album. Distorted guitars, ambient noises and depressing vocals make this an album that will haunt you for a very long time. Opening track – Kōfuku – is a fifty second ambient track warning you of the upcoming dangers of the album. It sets up the scene with a slightly depressing outlook on life.

Second track – Now, Apocalypse – takes the industrial sounds of early NIN and adds a cold sludge/post-metal exterior with nightmarish noises and sounds merged into the background. The drumming adds a slightly claustrophobic vibe with the guitars being played at a slow pace.

Third track – Seafloor Fathoms – carries on the doom and gloom vibe as the music becomes ever more distorted and drowning in ambient noises. It’s a complex affair as the song has a lot going on especially with the vocals and almost industrial style sludge based riffs. Low Flying Hawks opt for a more psychedelic style of sounds near the end of the song. However distortion is the main weapon of choice for the band as the music is buried under a ton of it.

Fourth track – Fading Sun – is a more upbeat and hopeful song compared to the opening tracks as the band create an uplifting environment where the sludge/post-metal noises are matched with upbeat post-rock sounds and subtle vocals to match. It’s played at a deliberate slow pace which allows the band to create the albums finest riffs.

The remainder of the album carries on the same dark and twisted path with Low Flying Hawks creating many more great moments of distorted “Heavygaze” where the volume becomes ever so louder and darker as a result. Songs such as White Temple, Ruins and Destruction Complete are perhaps the standout songs on the album as these contain perhaps the heaviest and finest sounds on the album.

Low Flying Hawks have created an unsettling and nightmarish masterpiece that will appeal to fans of Neurosis, Pelican, Russian Circles, The Melvins and Nine Inch Nails. Kudos to Magnetic Eye Records for signing this band to their roster.

Whatever you do, buy this album when it’s released on CD/DD/Vinyl on Feb 12th 2016 via Magnetic Eye Records. You need this record in your life. No question…

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard Jones at Sheltered Life PR for the promo.

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