Thursday 19 January 2023

Signo Rojo - There Was A Hole Here (Album Review)

Release Date: January 27th 2023. Record Label: Majestic Mountain Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

There Was A Hole Here: Tracklisting

Enough Rope 

Looking Glass Self

The World Inside

There Was A Hole Here

What Love Is There


Dead On The Vine



Pontus Svensson - drums Elias Mellberg - Guitars Jonas Nilsson - Bass+vocals Ola Bäckström - Guitars


Swedish Sludge Metallers have evolved from their early Atmospheric Sludge Metal sound to one of more riff-orientated rock/metal with a slight Stoner Metal undercurrent appearing on their stunning new album There Was A Hole Here. Embracing the modern rock route that Mastodon/Baroness transitioned early on in their career but the slight difference being that Signo Rojo appear still to be part of the Sludge Rock/Metal world. This album is definitely their most enjoyable and creative album yet.

Merging Psychedelic Rock grooves and Synths for a more engaging release that you can hear in full force and effect on the sublime opening song Enough Rope. A song that matches the early Sludge grooves of Mastodon and Baroness with the Riff Rock drive of CLUTCH. Signo Rojo still manages to hit upon some dark themes within the song but everything is so damn catchy with the different styles of music that the band employs here. The Psychedelic vibes and clean vocals work surprisingly well with Signo Rojo operating between their early Atmospheric Sludge sound but with a modern aesthetic being the main strength of the album which Signo Rojo uses for the rest of the album.

Second song Looking Glass Self opens with a Post-Doom/Post-Metal instrumental groove before the heavy aggressive vocals appear. The song is still down right catchy with Progressive guitars being played at a subtle fast pace. There's an element of Baroness's classic "Blue Record" around this song and perhaps this album but Signo Rojo bringing a slight Hardcore feel to the album. The track does embrace a "riff" methodology and becomes better for this style of music.

Third song The World Inside opts for a darker narrative with a gloomy outlook with a seedier sound with the vocals being more forceful. The Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal backdrop is haunting whilst being firmly in the background. This is more of a cold Psychedelic track with Signo Rojo flirting between Post-Whatever worlds. The instrumental work has a great sense of clarity and distortion when Signo Rojo slows the mood right down for heavier elements of their music to appear.

The other impressive aspect of this album is the excellent use of different Psychedelic and Ambient sounds that allows Signo Rojo to sound vastly different from their last album. A highly imaginative creative style that fully takes over on outstanding tracks such as: There Was A Hole Here, What Love Is There, Also Ran and Botfly.

Signo Rojo perhaps went slightly darker on the later stages of the album with the most powerful grooves appearing on tracks such as There Was A Hole Here, What Love is There and Botfly. The final few songs sees Signo Rjojo become more DOOM & GLOOM orientated whilst still playing some of the most exciting riff-centric style of Sludge/Stoner Metal they've written to date.

Ace underground label Majestic Mountain Records is releasing this album and it's not hard to see why. So that's another mark of quality for folks to check out this album as well.

There Was A Hole Here is my favourite album from Signo Rojo and it's good to see the band taking more daring risks and creative choices with their music. This is the type of album that I wanted Baroness to release after The Blue Album. That's how great this album is and I'm hoping this album brings Signo Rojo more attention with the Sludge/Stoner Metal underground scene. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Majestic Mountain Records for the promo.

There Was A Hole Here will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records from January 27th 2023.


Official | Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram