Tuesday 17 November 2015

Steak Number Eight - Kosmokoma (Album Review)

Release date: November 20th 2015. Label: Indie Recordings Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Kosmokoma – Tracklisting

1.Return Of The Kolomon
2.Your Soul Deserves To Die Twice
3.Principal Features Of The Cult
4.Gravity Giants
6.Knows Sees Tells All
7.Claw It In Your Eyes
8.It Might Be The Lights
9.Cheating The Gallows
10.Future Sky Batteries
11.Space Punch

Band Members:

Brent Vanneste: guitars/vocals
Joris Casier: drums
Jesse Surmont: bass
Cis Deman: guitars


Steak Number Eight describe themselves as an atmospheric sludge band and this description is certainly apt regarding their new album Kosmokoma, the band have obviously retained the sludge element that defined their previous albums but have definitely cranked up the atmospherics on their latest effort.

Kosmokoma kicks off with the almost entirely instrumental (save for a few choice vocals at the end of the track) Return Of The Kolomon, a track that is in equal turns pummelling and trippily progressive, and it is this latter style that shapes the whole of the album and for the better it has to be said. This opening track creates an atmosphere that doesn't let up for the duration of the album. The epic Your Soul Deserves To Die Twice follows and is a big song, equally in parts both mournful and full of anger, it is packed with massive riffs and tripped out solos and is an early highlight on Kosmokoma.

What dominates Kosmokoma is just how expansive and epic the bands have become, Gravity Giants, It Might Be The Lights and Cheating The Gallows are all vast riff led soundscapes that drag you in and refuse to let you go. Gravity Giants in particular is a huge brooding monster of a track built around a gargantuan riff that you lose yourself in with great ease and is as heavy and all encompassing as getting stuck and slowly sinking into a tar pit while It Might Be The Lights and Cheating The Gallows are hugely aggressive and expansive sludge anthems, the former a huge wave of ferociousness while the latter is enhanced by a hypnotic vocal style and propelled by a rolling drum rhythm.

Such is the sheer musical expansion on show here, it is not just about pummelling heaviness, there are songs of an epic nature that are simply expansive musical passages such as the kaleidoscopic Charades, the vast Future Sky Batteries, the progressive and anthemic Claw It In Your Eyes and the deeply mournful and laid back psychedelics of Know See Tells All but one thing unites all of the songs on Kosmokoma and that is the monolithic riffs that create an atmosphere of losing yourself to the music and letting yourself go completely and surrendering yourself completely to the vibe, a vibe that is at times dark and at others uplifting but one that is always all encompassing. This is probably best summed up by closing track Space Punch, a track where its title says it all and a perfect way to finish this album, just listen to it and you will understand.

Kosmokoma is the sound of a band unleashing a sound that will embrace you but then consume you and with this album Steak Number Eight have achieved what they had previously hinted at, the heaviness of sludge combined with devouring atmospherics, so jump in, listen intently and let Kosmokoma completely take over your mind.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Andy at indie Recordings. Kosmokoma will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Indie Recordings on November 20th 2015.