Friday, 1 April 2016

She Hunts Koalas - Terra Dementia (Album Review)


Release date: April 8th 2016. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

Terra Dementia – Tracklisting

1. Ashes
2. Plague
3. Down
4. Shadow on You
5. Satellites
6. Amoenus

Band Members

Alex Gavalda (guitar)
Julien Aoufi (drums)
Fran├žois Cayla (Bass-vocal)
Dan Letellier (machine-vocal)

Review:

She Hunts Koalas debut album – Terra Dementia – sees the band Newly signed to Argonauta Records, the band play an intriguing style of Doom Metal, Sludge and almost psychedelic ritual ambient style riffs. It’s a highly complex and intelligent album that will take a few listens to fully appreciate. The album has six tracks that have each contain a haunting quality to them.

Opening track – Ashes – starts off rather quietly before the band start adding levels of distorted psychedelic sludge/doom metal riffs. Shades of Conan and Ufomammut do appear from time to time but the band creates their own haunting sound.

Second track – Plague – carries on the bleak doom and gloom atmospherics form Ashes but the band adds a heavier sludge sound to the mix. It allows the band to create some heavy riffs to drown the volume with. The added synths add a claustrophobic feel to this song. The vocals are for the most part, superb, though they can be quite repetitive at times especially near the end of the song. It shouldn’t distract you from the overall enjoyment of the album.

Third track – Down – opens with a slow-paced and heavy pounding bass guitar before the usual style of doom guitars come to change the tone of the song. The production is not as sharp on this song compared to the opening two tracks, though the vocals add quite a depressing and hollow feel. The riffs can be very down-tempo at times. I still consider this song as one of the best songs on the album.

Fourth track – Shadow On You – feels like it was influenced by YOB in places as the vocals and atmosphere have a certain YOB style quality to them. She Hunts Koalas do create a more ambient post-rock feel with heavy sludge rock distorted riffs being the main factor. Psychedelic noises appear towards the end as the band drift to a more ambient post-rock driven sound.

The final two songs – Satellites and Amoenus – offer almost twenty minutes of heavy sonic musical experimentation that both rank as the albums finest songs. It’s on these two tracks that She Hunts Koalas finally offer their own sound. If you’re a fan of heavy doom and gloom slow-paced riffs then you will enjoy this part of the album the most. The vocals have an almost eerie feel to them but it’s the music that impresses the most. Progressive and highly complex in places.

Terra Dementia does have a few rough moments but it’s the overall journey that the band takes you on make this an outstanding debut album. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency for the promo. Terra Dementia will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from April 8th 2016.

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