Wednesday 1 January 2020

Garganjua - Towards The Sun (Album Review)

Release date: January 17th 2020. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Toward The Sun – Tracklisting

2.The New Sun
5.Light Bearer
6.Controlling Waves
7.To Ascend (Awakening)


Scott- Guitars/Vocals
Gaz - Bass/Vocals
Gazz - Guitars
Ben - Drums


Toward The Sun is the 3rd album from UK Progressive Doom/Sludge Metallers Garganjua and it sees the band fully complete their journey in creating the same type of emotionally charged music that YOB and PALLBEARER are known for. Which is quite an accomplishment as the band started out as a Doom/Stoner Metal band with their debut release.

Their musical journey since then has led up to this album and it’s their most accomplished album to date with an array of outstanding ideas that have a haunting and emotional feel to them.

Opening song – Transcending – is a Post-Rock/Doom based song with ambient sounds and rhythms and a cool audio-clip laying down the groundwork and themes for Toward The Sun to follow. The haunting gloomy guitars are played briefly while the Ambient grooves are delicately played.

Second song – The New Sun – carries on the beautifully played Post-Rock/Doom/Gloom atmosphere of the opening song before the song brings in lush sounding vocals and heavy progressive melodies that build up to a more violent style of Doom Metal. The vocals and riffs both take a more dramatic turn with Garganjua living upto their Doom/Sludge Metal roots with an avalanche of punishing riffs that can be quite unsettling at times. Though the mood is always emotional and addictive at the same time. The song does have a cool way of moving between different Hard Rock/Heavy Metal textures where the mood can be beautifully quiet and then highly volatile the next.

Third song – Mire – starts rather slowly and is perhaps the “template” that Garganjua are most comfortable using by creating slow-paced grooves that take time to come alive and explode with violent aggression. Shades of YOB and PALLBEARER can be heard within this song with Post-Metal lyrics shining through. T The bleak growls adds substance to the whole atmosphere of the album but it’s the Ambient/Post-Rock vibes being played that held my attention throughout.

Fourth song – Transcendence – is a hypnotic style of Post-Rock, Doom, Sludge and Psychedelic sounds that show a different side to Garganjua for the first few moments of the song. The audio-clip once again leaves you feeling ashamed of being apart of humanity and Garganjua drive that message home with their unflinching style of Progressive Doom Metal that takes no prisoners. The music is flawless and you can’t but agree with everything that is being said on this album.

The other 3 songs on the album Light Bearer, Controlling Waves and To Ascend (Awakening) all carry on the deep progressive and emotional themes that Garganjua play superbly well throughout with To Ascend (Awakening) being the best song on the album.

The final 3 songs on the album is where Garganjua create some of the heaviest and best moments on the entire album. As the band throw a lot of different sounds and ideas at the listener that maybe too heavy going at first. Though it’s a wonderfully cinematic experience that demands many repeated listens.

This is the type of album that could launch Garganjua into the forefront of the UK Doom/Sludge Metal album. There is no denying that Toward The Sun is a masterclass of Progressive Doom/Sludge Metal and is most definitely Garganjua’s beat album to date and hopefully their calling card to bigger and greater things.

Toward The Sun is an unmissable album and demands your full attention.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Justine at Holy Roar Records for the promo. Toward The Sun will be available on CD/DD/Vinyl via Holy Roar Records from January 17th 2020.