Release Date: May 27th 2022. Record Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Shovel - S/T - Tracklisting
1.VII. Havoc 05:04
2.V. Mære 05:19
3.VI. Scars of a Dark Past 05:31
4.I. The Void 05:44
5.III. The Fall of the Sun 07:39
6.IV. A Case against Optimism 07:24
7.II. The Lake 06:33
kostis benning: guitar, vocals
yorgos anagnostopoulos: guitar, vocals
pier favia: bass
fotis logothetis: drums
Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metallers Shovel debut full length album is one embraced with a menacing sideline in Hardcore theatrics with extra Psyhcedelic and Black Metal grooves. The album is quite distorted in places with some real meaty Psych Stoner Metal hooks appearing in the earlier stages of the album. The music can be quite melodic with a progressive edge.
Opening song VII. Havoc is a wicked style of Hardcore sounds with the foundations of Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal allowing Shovel do their own thing. The atmosphere is bleak and twisted and brings a mid-00’s Sludge/Stoner mentality to the forefront. The vocals are bleak and screamed with intense anger.
The one band I can compare these guys to is EYEHATEGOD with the many dark areas of Sludge Metal they explore throughout the album. However, Shovel are perhaps more experimental with glitchy sounds being added for a more claustrophobic effect. Psychedelic and Blackened Doom Metal is where Shovel truly excel at especially on tracks such as: V. Mære, VI. Scars Of A Dark Past, III. The Fall Of The Sun and II. The Lake.
The later stages of the album may draw upon influences from the “Post-Whatever" arena but this still remains a highly original album with high levels of bleak and dark moments to frighten your soul with.
The instrumental work is superb with Shovel playing a fine amount of violent riffs along the way. Throw in some wicked DIY based production values and Shovel’s debut album is a record with a lot to say. If you’re looking for an uplifting album then it’s best to look elsewhere. As this ain’t that type of album. This is an adventure into the darker side of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal.
Perhaps one of the heaviest and bleakest albums that Italian Powerhouse Label Argonauta Records have released to date. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to All Noir PR for the promo.
The album is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Argonauta Records now.