Saturday 6 August 2022

Blacklab - In A Bizarre Dream (Album Review)

Release Date: August 19th 2022. Record Label: New Heavy Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

In A Bizarre Dream - Tracklisting

Cold Rain

Abyss Woods

Dark Clouds

Evil 1

Evil 2

Crows, Sparrows And Cats (feat Lætitia Sadier)


In A Bizarre Dream

Monochrome Rainbow



Yuko Morino - Guitars/Vocals

Chia Shiraishi - Drums


In A Bizarre Dream is the new album from Japanese Doomsters Blacklab that continues the grungy and seedy attitude of their previous two albums. Embracing a less is more approach that harks back to the days of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Portishead and Saint Vitus. Blacklab brings a more ferocious style of vocals which are heard on the opening track Cold Rain.

Cold Rain features Seedy Fuzzy and Sludgy guitars are powerfully distinctive with a rich-flowing Punk Rock vibe that allows the band to be more experimental with their sound. The sound is LOUD and VOLATILE with the clean pissed off vocals from Yukoo being quite Post-Punk in places. The music is aggressive and has small twinges of melodic rock before changing into more Garage Rock or Street Doom style of Heavy Doom.

Second song Abyss Woods has a certain Acid King flavour to it with the stripped back guitars playing extended grooves and the fantastic drumming from Chia. The song is constantly echoing back to the heyday of 70's Doom Metal and branching out into heavier strands of Sludge/Stoner Metal. A 90's Grunge/Alt-Rock influence can be heard with the lyrics which the band have done previously but perhaps coming off stronger on this track. This song has a lush melodic style of violent energy showcasing what Blacklab does so well.

Blacklab play fast-paced Punk Rock sounds for the next couple of songs with Dark Clouds and Evil 1 being more aggressive with small outbursts of Psych Rock attitude leading the way. The album does become more experimental in nature when the excellent two part track Evil 1 and Evil 2. Yuko vocals on Evil 2 are utterly mesmerising and emotionally convincing with the gloomy Post-Doom grooves slowly building up to an exciting finish.

Sixth track Crows, Sparrows and Cats features a stunning vocal performance from Lætitia Sadier of Stereolab fame. Lætitia, Yuko and Chia give it their all for a song that bridges the gap between the worlds of Doom Metal and Alt Rock with a hard hitting Indie Rock spirit. The music is a mixture of Doom, Sludge, Stoner and Post-Punk which Blacklab should regularly play this style of music.

The final four songs Lost, In A Bizarre Dream, Monochrome Rainbow and Collapse sees Blacklab playing what they do best. Heavy Doomed Out Sounds with a FUZZED UP attitude. The music is challenging and Blacklab excel switching ideas round for a more richer sound which truly comes into focus on songs such as Monochrome Rainbow and Collapse.

In A Bizarre Dream is a gloomy action packed ride that brings a fresh experimental approach from Blacklab. This album is built on HUGE LOUD RIFFS and brilliant creative ideas that allows Blacklab to be one of the most wonderfully diverse bands from the Japanese Doom Metal scene.

In A Bizarre Dream is first rate entertainment and is quite simply a must have album to own.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to For The Lost PR or the promo.

In A Bizarre Dream will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via New Heavy Sounds from August 19th 2022.


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