Tuesday 24 July 2018

LURK - Fringe (Album Review)

Release date: August 05th 2018. Label: Transcending Obscurity Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

FRINGE – Tracklisting

Tale Blade
Proteus Syndrome


Kimmo Koskinen - Vocals
Kalle Nurmi - Drums
Arttu Pulkkinen - Guitar
Eetu Nurmi - Bass


I didn't know what to expect from Finnish Heavy Metallers - LURK - new album, Fringe. I've only heard bits and pieces from this band and I have never listened to a full record of theirs. Shame on me as Fringe is epic as they come. I've listened to their previous albums now when writing this review. Fringe is perhaps their most diverse and most experimental offering to date. The album is a mixture of Sludge, Doom and Post-Metal though LURK do add elements of pitch-black doom/death sounds on certain songs on the album.

Opening song - Ostrakisomos - starts off with a Mastodon/Neurosis style progressive sound. Then elements of psych sounds and a twinge of Jazz gives way to a bleaker atmosphere with the pitch-black vocal delivery of lead vocalist Kimmo. The riffs remain in the Doom/Post-Metal world however everything else is pure progressive bleakness. LURK have a talent for creating highly atmospheric sounds that will make your skin crawl. The music and lyrics have a brooding feel and LURK approach their music with a truly cool sounding apocalyptic feel.

Second track - Tale Blade - has a more Blackened Rock and Roll approach with the pitch-black vocals feeling they've came from a different band. However the riffs are eerie familiar from past LURK albums. The slow progressive guitar riffs slowly adds a more down-tempo doom and gloom effect. However it's the intricate psychedelic post-rock/post-metal interludes that offer a different side to LURK. The song can be very cold but also offers brief moments of uplifting sludge grooves. Only for a few seconds though. 

The rest of the album carries on the Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal hybrid sound with elements of bleak vibes holding everything together. Songs such as Reclaim, Elan, Furrow, Nether and Proteus Syndrome sees LURK do a great job of keeping the mood loud, violent and fresh. Maybe Fringe does take many cues from the legendary sound of Neurosis and Mastodon but which band doesn't within the realm of Doom/Sludge Metal. At least LURK add a more organic groove to their music and the lyrics are simply sublime.

Fringe is an album that has something to say and LURK accomplish this by weaving highly intelligent progressive riffs and bleak lyrics to match. My favourite song has to the final epic song Proteus Syndrome as LURK crank up the tension with an endless stream of heavy Doom/Death riffs and bleak growls to match. Fringe is a well-produced and excellent sounding album from the start.

LURK take a no holds barred approach to this album and it pays off brilliantly well. LURK have delivered the goods with Fringe.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Transcending Obscurity Records for the promo. Fringe will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Transcending Obscurity Recordds from August 05th 2018.