Posts Tagged ‘The Sleeping Shaman’

Album of the Day: CHRCH – Unanswered Hymns

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I’m gunna level with you: the modern day sludge / heavy psych / drone / doom / whatever market these days is more crowded than a standard rush-hour in New Delhi, although yes, I’ll admit there are some bands that do come more immediately to the fore.

You have the old guard for a start – the Noothgrushs, Acid Kings, Goatsnakes, Electric Wizards, Sleeps and Eyehategods of the world. Then you can add in the more modern innovators who twist, turn, shape and craft age-old riffs into greater, grander metal monoliths – take the Neurosis’, Yobs, Pallbearers, Ufomammuts and Elders. Add in a newer crop of acts who are essentially retro-revivalists, brilliantly updating the classic templates for a new generation of fan – Windhand, Kadavar and Satan’s Satyrs, kindly raise your claws. And to overcomplicate matters, you have acts that remain beneath the murk and simply concentrate on building pure force through the channel of atmosphere – Bell Witch, Indian, Slomatics, Primitive Man and yes, Conan.

Church - Unanswered Hymns

To have even a hope in the grisly bowels of hell of coming into today’s scene and keep your head above the grimy puddle water that’s already been oh-so well trodden in by all of the aforementioned, let alone stand out from this rabid mob of heavy veterans, you have to be good. Really, really fucking good.

And you have to be something different that people can’t get from anyone else. And yet, somehow you must still sound familiar enough for fans and us think-we-know-all critics to relate back to that founding establishment. It’s tough, it’s very tough. But somehow, with play after play of their astonishing album Unanswered Hymns, Sacramento, California’s CHRCH have proven to my perennially grumbling ears, that it can still be done right in the most devastating of fashions by a young, debut act. We the unassuming may well not have known the power of what this five-piece (vocalist Eva, guitarists Shann and Chris, bass-player Ben and drummer Matt) have been painstakingly creating since late 2013, with the Unanswered Hymns release arriving to a low-key fanfare and with very limited live appearances to date.

With the word spreading out fast and with live gigs with the likes of Bongripper and Unearthly Trance ramping up under their belts however that’s not likely to remain the case for long. Unanswered Hymns could well be one of the most complete doom records I’ve heard in years, or ever for that matter. It’s as raw, unapologetic, uncomfortably brutal, strangled and harrowing as any band could summon from their version of the abyss, yet it’s also full to the brim of an inner brand of grace, beauty and subtle vulnerability that even the greats would struggle to achieve.

Continue reading: Church ‘Unanswered Hymns’ LP/CS/DD 2015 | The Sleeping Shaman

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Album of the Day: Undersmile – Anhedonia

Posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Undersmile are one of the UK’s brightest hopes in the doom scene. Having bulldozed everyone with their stunning debut, Narwhal, the band are now unleashing their 70+ minute opus Anhedonia, to an eager public. Anhedonia is proving to be a much more experimental force […]

Album of the Day: Hate & Merda – L’Anno Dell’Odio

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Hate & Merda are a mysterious Italian duo specialising in an interesting blend of sludge, psychadelia and atmospherics. Their debut album’s title is roughly translated as The Year Of Hate, and its barren depths and bleak, nihilistic soundscapes are the perfect soundtrack to every […]

Album of the Day: Spectral Haze – I.E.V. Transmutated Nebula Remains

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Ladies and gentlemen we are very definitely floating in space here. From the slow feedback oscillation and filthy bass of instrumental opener ‘I.V.E. I – Circumambulating Mount Meru’ through to the final race to the cosmic finish line at the end of ‘Triads And […]

Album of the Day: Mansion – Uncreation

Posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Turku, Finland’s Mansion have been consistently impressing listeners with their highly polished, Kartanoism themed, doom rock since their debut single We Shall Live was released in February 2013. The We Shall Live EP followed in June 2013, and the slightly more upbeat The Mansion […]

Album of the Day: Death Penalty – S/T

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: He’s blessed us with the classics – Forest Of Equilibrium, The Ethereal Mirror, The Carnival Bizarre, Endtyme – the list goes on; as the main songwriter and penultimate “riff-finder general” for legendary doom outfit Cathedral, the name Gaz Jennings has been synonymous with skull […]

Album of the Day: Yob – Clearing The Path To Ascend

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: It’s been a long, hard road for Yob, an uphill journey beset with obstacles – the first lineup of the band breaking up, subsequent legal issues around mainman Mike Scheidt’s interrim band Middian and Scheidt’s own struggles with his personal demons – but ever […]

Album of the Day: Fórn – The Departure Of Consciousness

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: The Departure of Consciousness is the soundtrack to collapse – the slow, final collapse of a dying relationship, the slow cascade of brick and mortar from a collapsing building or the terrifying claustrophobia of the inward collapse of the human mind, all are evoked […]

Album of the Day: Funerary – Starless Aeon

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Funerary are still relatively unknown, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. In fact, the underground has always been a place full of exciting talents a lot of people aren’t aware of. Thanks to the Internet, its now easier to discover and explore them. […]

Album of the Day: Lonely Kamel – Shit City

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: It’s still unusual to find that one of Europe’s strongest exports of desert rock, especially with a name like Lonely Kamel, hails from the frost-bitten lands of Norway, culturally famed for its black metal output. Yet on the brink of releasing their fourth studio […]

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