Sunday, 27 October 2019

Looprider - Ouroboros (Album Review)

Release date: October 2nd 2019. Label: Call And Response Records. Format: CD/DD

Flames Arise – Tracklisting

1.Sunn 04:22
2.Reactor 04:03
3.NWOBHM 03:14
4.Dunes 03:59
5.Image 08:43
6.Heavenless 03:44
7.OK! 03:33
8.Ouroboros 03:55
9.RnR 03:17
10.Untitled 06:45


Ryotaro - vocals, heavy guitar, noise
Haruka - fuzz guitar
Sean - drums


Ouroboros is the 4th album from Japanese based Drone/Stoner Rockers – Looprider – and it’s my first exposure to the band. Looprider’s previous albums have been very different to each other.

Their debut album My Electric Fantasy was released in 2015 which was a mix of Drone, Doom, Sludge and Stoner Rock. Their 2016 follow up Ascension was vastly different with the band play a more chaotic style of Drone/Noise Metal. The band released their 3rd release in 2017 with Uni. A single 25 minute song that drifts from Doom, Post-Rock, Post-Metal and Drone soundscapes.

Looprider return with Ouroboros and it’s returning to the sound they released on their 2015 debut album but with the band taking influence from KYUSS, Electric Wizard and BORIS. I would even add Deftones to that list as well. As Looprider definitely have that Alternative Rock/Metal sound Deftones are known for.

The band have created a highly majestic and richly rewarding work with Ouroboros that is packed full of highly atmospheric Drone, Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal sounds. The band aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound and the album is quite captivating when Looprider decide to mix things up with the different styles of music they have at their disposal.

Opening song – Sunn – feels inspired by BORIS and Deftones with the mixture of Drone, Doom and Stoner Metal grooves merging with an almost Post-Rock sounding atmospheric background. The vocals appear when they only need to. As Looprider let their music do all the talking. This is one of the standout songs on the album and one that has an addictive quality to it.

Second song – Reactor – is a full on Stoner Metal song with fast-paced grooves and a manic Punk Rock energy to it. So vastly different to Sunn but it shows you how comfortable Looprider are switching genres at the drop of a hat. The music is superbly played with some epic guitar solos making a welcome appearance with frantic drumming driving everything along.

Third song – NWOBHM – carries on the frantic Stoner Metal vibe with Looprider settling down for another slice of chaotic style of music. The atmosphere is quite raw but it matches the frantic and vibrant energy the band are playing. Add strands of Psychedelic Rock and you have one of the most catchiest songs contained on the album and perhaps with the best riffs as well.

Fourth song – Dunes – has a warped Desert/Stoner Rock influence running throughout. The high levels of FUZZ is very loud indeed but it allows Looprider to creative another slice of addictive Stoner Rock with a slight BORIS vibe to it all.

Fifth song – Image – is my favourite song on the album as this is where Looprider bring their “A” game to the party. The song has many different styles and elements to it that leaves you wanting more. It starts rather quietly with a sombre Ambient/Drone sound giving way to heavier and distorted Industrial Doom Metal grooves that appear from nowhere. The song ends on a bleak note with the distorted grooves being quite chaotic in places.

The second half of the album carries on the fast-paced energy with Looprider expanding their sound even further on songs such as Heavenless, OK! and the excellent final song – Untitled. Expect more twisted slices of Drone/Doom/Stoner Metal that prove Looprider are worth giving a damn about.

I’ve listened to Looprider’s full back catalogue since listening to this album and I must say this is perhaps their most exciting album to date. I’m not sure the band will stick with this style of music. As like BORIS, the band like to explore as many different genres they possibly can.

My advice is to give Ouroboros a listen first before venturing into their already impressive back catalogue. As this album is their most addictive and mature offering yet.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe