Garganjua - Toward The Sun review
|Album:||Toward The Sun|
|Release date:||January 2020|
02. The New Sun
05. Light Bearer
06. Controlling Waves
07. To Ascend (Awakening)
These days "traditional" doom metal, the type that's highly derivative of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and/or Electric Wizard, tends to bore me quite a lot. This corner of the metal spectrum is so much more interesting when it's either left field and abstract as all hell (see Monolithe, Bloody Panda) or when it's merged with other genres and styles. Take a lesson from Garganjua for the latter.
Indeed, far from your "traditional" doom band, the UK's Garganjua are something of a three way merger of death doom, prog, and post rock. And oh, how deliciously this blend of sounds goes down on 2020's Toward The Sun! Here the band prove that they're perfectly comfortable with starting in any one of these three areas and gradually transitioning to and incorporating the others into their compositional structures. The multiple layers that form the music and the various twists and turns Garganjua take are quite impressive, to say the least. You may get a track like "The New Sun" out of them, which starts with airy, epic post metal melody and soaring clean vocals before seguing into more pounding doom riffs and growls. Or the opposite may happen with a track like "Mire": a beginning in the crushing, riff-heavy approach that slowwwwwly descends into more melodic, post rock-ish wanderings. These gentlemen definitely know how to write some excellently paced jamz.
Through it all, a keen sense of crisp, airy production maintains the warm, inviting, and all around luscious atmosphere that Garganjua conjure here. It's not too drowned out in fuzz and distortion as is typical of the more old school doom and stoner metal bands. Nor is it smothered in dense, spacey atmosphere to the point that riffs and an overall sense of heaviness are compromised either. On the contrary, it's a more middle-of-the-road approach that allows both the crunchiness of Garganjua as well as their more transcendent moments of blissful ambiance to come out and shine equally in full. The results are pretty wondrous.
Garganjua are one of those bands I've only just discovered while they're already a good way into their discography. If anything then, Toward The Sun only motivates me to check out their prior releases and keep a watchful eye and ear tuned toward them for their future material. Epic, hypnotic, and "heavy" in multiple senses of the word, this album is a fine lesson in both high quality musicianship and composing abilities as well as how to craft pretty original-sounding doom metal in the contemporary area.
In my top 10 albums for this year so far, probably. Go embrace heliocentrism.
||Written on 23.02.2020 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.|
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