Monday 27 June 2016

Conjurer - I (Album Review)

Release date: July 01st 2016. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

I – Tracklisting

1.Behold The Swine
3.A Chasm Forged In Dread And Disarray

Band Members:

Dan Nightingale {Vocals/Guitar}
Brady Deeprose {Vocals/Guitar}
Jan Krause {Drums}
Andy Price {Bass}


Conjurer are a band that I have just recently been put onto and perhaps just in time as their debut E.P. "I" has just started streaming on the Terrorizer website ahead of pre-release sale on the Holy Roar. The band identify themselves as 'post sludge' but to me they have as much in common with a good, raw and primitive Black Metal outfit as anything else. Amongst their (substantial) listed influences are Slabdragger, Conan, Anaal Nathrak, Hang the Bastard and Oathbreaker. When listening to them I hear elements of Marduk's 'La grand dans Macabre', a guitar tone reminiscent of Sepultura and an ethereal mood of Angel Whore - 10 points if that last reference means anything to you.

I have been listening to the E.P. "I" almost perpetually looped for a couple of weeks now. Its production polished enough not to interfere with the raw nature of the music and each track dynamically paced for a conscientious sense of dramatic timing. The riffs are plentiful, meaty and industrious giving way to the occasional and appropriately placed solo that shows off a flair for the technical that would otherwise have them painted as the sort of 'purists' to turn their nose up at that sort of display. The drumming is a particular point of interest for me as it shows a creative flair with plenty of hooks, pauses and refrains that don't allow the listener a passive ride but instead have them on edge for the duration Like the ghosts in Super Mario that grab you when you look away. It is a record not dependant on blast beats to keep the it moving forward but when the time is right Jan Krause is well equipped to pulverise the track and the listener with a barrage on par with the first days of the Somme.

Vocally I could drop any number of adjectives that you've read in any number of reviews before (brutal, crushing etc. etc.) but instead I'll draw focus to the nature of the vocals and how the shared responsibility of Dan Nightingale and Brady Deeprose allows a saturation into the mix that is used to almost full potential. The rich texture and layering that you are accosted with in this record is exactly what you can expect to find in a live show but don't think for a minute that 'Rich' could confused with 'pleasant' as a rasping almost shrill topline accompanies a guttural roar placed against each other in pique discord that is both well developed but shows a real room for growth that will have me checking in on future releases.

To break down the individual parts is to ignore the bigger picture. This record is grim, primitive and melancholic. Reverb-y acoustic intros drop you into a well of despairing riffs at every turn and most often mutates into a palpable rage but every now and then with just one short bar or phrase it puts across a real sense of optimism that could stand to upset the purists but represents a serious progression in style and mood. I am happy this one landed in my lap and would encourage others to grab a copy of this future classic.

Words by Luke The Bastard

I will be available to buy via Holy Roar Records on CD/DD/Vinyl from July 1st 2016.