Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Conjurer - Old World Ritual (Review)

Conjurer – “Old World Ritual”. Release date: June 06th 2015. Label: Self-Released. Formats: DD/CD

Old World Ritual - Tracklisting:

1.Never Enough 05:43
2.Trudge Down 03:48
3.Entheogen 03:42
4.Black Throne 03:23
5.Singularity 04:13
6.Flesh To Ash 05:28
7.Witch's Hale 02:51
8.Time Stands Still 04:50
9.Marauders 05:43
10.Gold Mask 05:45

Band Members:

Dillon Enright | Dustin Mendel | John Rau | Gabe Whitcomb | Brian Wyrick


Here’s my first review for the new blog and the first I’ve written in about 6 weeks, so I maybe a little rusty. Bear with me. Anyway, I’m reviewing Conjurer’s debut album – Old World Ritual. Conjurer’s sound can be described as Sludge/Stoner Metal though with Doom Metal and Space Rock influences holding everything together. The vocals have a slight hardcore edge as they’re more of the shouting variety than the normal style of clean harsh vocals and even death based growls. It’s a great choice as the vocals more than matches the heavy angry atmosphere Conjurer create with conviction.

Opening track – Never Enough – starts with a space-rock driven Sludge/Stoner Metal riff that becomes more powerful with each passing moment. Fans of TAINT and H A R K will get a kick out of this album as Conjurer play a similar style to those fantastic bands. Conjurer plays to their strengths through out this track by combining doom and gloom atmospherics with a Hardcore Punk sound especially where the vocals are concerned. The album is loud and angry from the word go and will have many of you headbanging in agreement. The final two minutes of the song sees Conjurer play a more stripped back approach of Post-Metal that will leave you in a peaceful mood. Trippy and endearing moments that I didn’t expect.

Second track – Trudge Down – is a more direct song compared to the opening track with different vocals to show you another side of Conjurer. The song has a true DIY feel as the music convinces you that these guys don’t rely on recording studio trickery at all. You get the impression this is what Conjurer actually sound like live in the flesh. The song is another Punk/Sludge Rock driven track with Conjurer creating more sublime moments of Doom/Stoner Metal madness. The riffs have a down-tempo feel though played at a fast pace.

Third track – Entheogen – is one the angriest tracks on the album as you can feel the intensity from lead vocalist – Insert Name Later – vocals. Conjurer’s mood and riffs become more distorted and direct with the band shifting from one musical spectrum to the next. Doom, Stoner, Sludge and Hardcore Punk combine to create an addictive sound with hard-hitting lyrics to match. Conjurer is in full confident mood and it’s impossible to resist the violent manic energy they’ve created here.

Fourth track – Black Throne – carries on the angry vibe and with 10 songs on the album Conjurer are going to make sure you pay with heavy bombastic riffs with enough power to cause permanent damage to you’re well being. Heavy slabs of Sludge/Stoner Rock are fused with a cosmic sound with the distorted guitars played at maximum volumes. It’s an interesting style of early Mastodon/Baroness crunching riffs with a more space rock sound. Though without any of the commercial rock/pop trappings that has hindered those bands albums recently.

Fifth track – Singularity – is perhaps my fave song of the album as Conjurer open with down-tempo riffs that slowly builds up the atmosphere for all hell to break loose. The mood slowly becomes more psychedelic with the vocals offering that sense of despair from the earlier songs. Though it’s the riffs that are the main attraction here with intense drumming to match.

The 2nd half of the album sees Conjurer venture into even heavier territory as the band continue on their gruelling and punishing journey. Expect even more heavier and intense sounds to blast your hearing with. Tracks such as Flesh To Ash, Time Stands Still and Marauders sees Conjurer offer a sense that the whole world is going to end. With the recent warnings from leading scientists and world scientific bodies saying that the end of the human race is nigh possibly in the next 100 years, Old World Ritual may not be the best album to lighten your mood with as Conjurer offer a more Doom and Gloom on the remaining tracks compared to the first half of the album.

Old World Ritual is a stunning debut album. It’s packed full of intriguing ideas and visions that will have you listening to the album over and over again. Old World Ritual is an exciting and action packed ride that will turn some heads within the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. Conjurer is a band to look out for in the future.

Words by Steve Howe