As debut albums go, Blackened Visions from French instrumental progressive doomsters The Lumberjack Feedback is a colossus, though maybe that is not so much a surprise given the impressive and intensive tempest of their earlier offerings. The new album though sees the band exploring even more darkly provocative depths and uncompromisingly invasive textures in their sound and sonic suggestiveness. Blackened Visions lives up to its name with physically invasive ease; providing an inventive playground for the imagination and emotions to eagerly conjure within whilst at the same time luring ears into dramatic landscapes.
The band’s first acclaimed EP Hand of Glory in 2013 set the template and intent of The Lumberjack Feedback exploration in composing and sound, it offering a highly ravenous and intrusive adventure which has only grown more compelling and creatively dynamic, not forgetting experimentally bold within Blackened Visions. Between these releases, the Lille quintet drew potent reactions with Ausstellung, a split release with We All Die (Laughing) and the live EP Noise in the Church, both in 2014. Fair to say though, that Blackened Visions sees the twin guitar craft and imagination of Simon Herbaut and Arnaud Silvert, the predacious bass trespass of Sebastien Tarridec, and the united and often duelling enterprise of drummers Nicolas Tarridec and Virgil Chaize, sculpting their most stimulating and immersive proposals yet.
The band’s fusion of crushing doom metal with progressive and post rock explorations, all infused with tar like sludge and intensively fiery stoner-esque fascination, swiftly seduces and devours body and senses with the initial heavy throws of its opener No Cure (For The Fools). The track is a predator, laying down a sonic trail as menacing riffs lurk in the background before bringing it all to the intimidating fore led by the bestial instincts of bass and the united grouchy twang of the guitars. The track continues to crawl over and invade ears as it develops an equally gripping anthemic devilment to the combined but individual rapacity of the drums. There is a touch of Morkobot to the piece and equally in its raw character and volatile intensity, the scent of bands like Neurosis and Pelican, but whereas maybe in previous encounters they would be an overriding presence straight away Blackened Visions reveals a distinction solely from The Lumberjack Feedback.
The excellent start continues with the album’s title track. The melodic first touch and stormy air is an engaging but portentous melancholy fuelled invitation which only intensifies as guitars and bass entwine and creep around firm rhythmic pokes. There is a fearsome romance to the lure of the music too, even as things intrusively erupt and grooves become more sinewy as rhythms forcibly make their trespass. Darkness and invasive shadows always come equipped with a certain lure and so it is with the increasingly fiery and vitriolic landscape and indeed heart of Blackened Visions, song and album.
I, Mere Mortal steps forward next, another sonic coaxing the first contact from within which a rousing rhythmic incitement grabs the imagination and appetite. The anthemic potency of the drums is matched by a throaty bait of bass whilst a repetitive nagging from the guitars adds to the raw almost monolithic tempting enveloping the listener before spreading broader pestilential and ravenous sonic antipathy. The track is irresistible; a gloriously bruising call to arms led by, to simplify things, the thumping drama of rhythms and niggling persistence of guitar.
Karma to Burn like spicing lines Salvation next, melodic acidity which burns on the senses but sweetly entices ears and heart to its cancerous rock ‘n roll leading to intensely viscous doom and post rock spawned exploration. It is a flight into the beauty and hopeful calm found within acceptances of dark and merciless emotional and physical climates, and another song which leaves the body invigorated, thoughts stretched, and emotions exhausted.
A tapestry of drama and creative enmity follows with Dra Till Helvete, the track an addictive and mercurial beckoning turned sonic devourer leading body and imagination into the hellish depths of the underworld with rhythmic magnetism. As through all tracks, thoughts paint a picture and emotions flirt with more intimate realisation, every intrusive note and swinging beat a powerfully impacting and rabidly lingering incitement to be entangled in.
Mah Song (Horses Of God) completes the album, it a rumbling and lumbering beast merging expulsions of rock ‘n’ roll with psyche twisting post rock winds infused with danger lit melodic veins. It is a dramatic and compelling end to a demandingly impressive proposition. The Lumberjack Feedback has unlocked their most destructive and invigorating depths yet with Blackened Visions and it feels like it is just the beginning too; happy days!
Blackened Visions is out now via Kaotoxin Records digitally @ http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/blackened-visions and as limited edition 500 copy DigiSLeeve CD with 100 copy collector edition 12″ LP on clear vinyl and 400 copy limited edition 12″ LP regular versions will be released during 2016’s second quarter at the Kaotoxin Shop.
Pete RingMaster 18//01/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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