Sunday 22 November 2015

Garganjua - A Voyage In Solitude (Album Review)

Release date: January 2016. Label: Hibernacula/Black Bow Records. Format: CD/DD

A Voyage In Solitude – Tracklisting

1.Witch Hoarder
3.A Voyage In Solitude

Band Members:

Scott Taylor – Guitar and Vocals
Gareth Owen – Bass and Vocals
Gazz Chambers – Guitar and Vocals
Ben Weston – Drums


I like Garganjua. I like them as a band, and as people. We've been lucky enough to gig with them a couple of times in the past and hope to do so many more times in the future.

Gaz originally sent me a download of their first EP, which I loved, and so when he told me they were booked into Skyhammer Studio (home of Chris Fielding who has probably produced more albums in your collection, than you even realise) to record their full length I was more than a little bit excited to hear the results.

My excitement was totally merited because what Garganjua have delivered with their debut full length "A Voyage In Solitude" is nothing short of magnificent, and belies their short time together as a band.

Opening track "Witch Hoarder" opens with a simple guitar part laced with the threat of the fuzz and weight that you know is hiding behind it. And when it kicks in, I can see the heads nodding and the hands punching the air at venues everywhere across the UK that this track will no doubt cause.

The track (and the album as a whole) makes the most of Gaz and Scott's contrasting vocal styles (a growl that's lower than a whore's knickers and a Yob- infused clean vocal respectively) and never over use either one.

"Isolation" is the albums single with it's radio friendly run time of nine minutes and is the most mellow and shortest of the albums four tracks. (Yes 4....) - I'm not actually going to say anything about this track but will instead direct you to a link to it so you can hear for yourself how good it is......

Track 3 and album namesake is another beautifully crafted doom opus which to quote blog boss Steve Howe is a "stunning mix of Yob and Pallbearer". Guitars and based tuned to God knows what, but it's VERY low and wonderfully balanced drums, restrained one minute ringing out huge fills the next. Also notable is Scott's impressive vocal which takes the lead on this one, and the hook will get stuck in your head for days at a time.

"Extinction" closes the album in a similar fashion to the one it began in. Quiet guitars which again give way to a full assault from the rest of the band. The thing I love about this track is that whilst it is as heavy as Jeremy Clarkson's bill from his defence lawyer it also oozes melody at almost every point.

So there you have it. Garganjua have delivered a mature, confident and disgustingly heavy record, that would easily make my end of year list if it had only been released a month earlier.

"A Voyage In Solitude" will be available on CD/DD via Hibernacula (CD) and Black Bow Records (Digital Download) in January 2016.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Garganjua for the promo. This is a brilliant album and as SID rightly points out, if this was released a month earlier this would have been an album of the year contender.