Saturday 1 September 2018

KOMATSU - A New Horizon (Album Review)

Release date: September 07th 2018. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

A New Horizon – Tracklisting

1. I Got Drive
2. Prophecy
3. 10-4
4. Surfing A Landslide
5. Love Screams Cruelty
6. Komatsu
7. Infected
8. A New Horizon
9. Walk A Mile
10. This Ship Has Sailed


Mo Truijens: Guitar + Lead vocals
Mathijs Bodt: Guitar + vocals
Martijn Mansvelders: Bass + vocals
Joris Lindner: Drums + vocals


After their slightly more serious and hard hitting 2016 album Recipe For Murder One, Komatsu return with A New Horizon. This album sees Komatsu return to their earlier spaced out sound. The album is super heavy and the band have added some fresh dynamics to their music. Mainly with the spaced out Stoner Rock/Metal parts being the main focus of the album.

Opening song – I Got Drive – is a progressive Stoner/Sludge Rock offering with the heavy guitars allowing Komatsu to deliver a commanding presence. The music drifts from psych/space rock to a heavier and progressive style of Sludge/Stoner Rock. The vocals have a delicate balance of clean vocals and harsher growls that the rest of the album follows.

Second song – Prophecy – is one of the standout songs on the album with Komatsu playing a heavy psychedelic blend of Stoner Rock, Doom and Sludge based grooves. The band waste no time in creating a song that could have easily came off from Recipe For Murder One. However the psychedelic elements means the song feels more at home on this album. Though it’s a good style of music that Komatsu have adapted here. Prophecy has it’s fair share of doom and gloom moments and that’s down to the fantastic lyrics.

Third song – 10-4 – is a more sludgier affair and is perhaps the most standard metal song on the album with both the lyrics and vocals struggling at times to fully convince the listener. The music is the main saving grace here as the song feels to disjointed at times. 10-4 is the only part of the album I have real issues with.

Komatsu return to winning ways with the rest of the album with Surfing A Landslide seeing Komatsu embracing their Psychedelic/Space Rock sound like never before. The trippy instrumental riffs has an ambient post-rock/metal feel to it and is another one of the standout songs on the album.

The rest of A New Horizon drifts from one musical spectrum to the next with Komatsu keeping the listener hugely entertained with the different styles of Sludge/Stoner Metal the band play on songs such as: Love Screams Cruelty, Komatsu, A New Horizon and This Ship Has Sailed.

My favourite part of the album has to be with the song Komatsu. As the band originally released this song on their 2011 debut release. Back then the song was more of a standard Stoner Rock/Metal song. Fast forward 7 years and the band have given this track a more modern sounding Psychedelic/Space Rock makeover. You can hear some Mastodon-esque riffs as well which the original version didn’t have.

The production on A New Horizon is simply wonderful and this ranks as perhaps Komatsu’s best sounding album to date. I would also say this is the best album that Komatsu have released yet. I hope the band carry on this style of sound for future albums. Not that I didn’t enjoy the more gloomier aspects of Recipe For Murder One. I always rate the Psychedelic/Space Rock elements of Komatsu’s music as their main strength. As this allows their music to become heavier and more direct as a result.

A New Horizon is a must-have album and Komatsu deserve all the plaudits and praise hopefully coming their way.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. A New Horizon will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records from September 7th 2018.