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Garganjua - Toward The Sun review

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Band: Garganjua
Album: Toward The Sun
Release date: January 2020

01. Transcending
02. The New Sun
03. Mire
04. Transcendence
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.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 76 users
23.02.2020 - 21:07
Rating: 9
Definitely one of the best albums of the year so far. So fun to hear all those styles expertly combined on an such an expansive sounding record.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
23.02.2020 - 21:53
Excellent album, I was looking forward to this review having seen it in your queue, and you didn't disappoint
Such a refreshing take on doom, which is a genre I generally love in nearly all its forms. I hope this band becomes more known to people, they really deserve it.
23.02.2020 - 22:14
Rating: 8

Yeah really dig this album, love the post-metal/doom fusion approach. Light Bearer is my favourite track from it so far, but Mire and Transcendence are very solid too
24.02.2020 - 00:23
Written by nikarg on 23.02.2020 at 21:53

Such a refreshing take on doom, which is a genre I generally love in nearly all its forms. I hope this band becomes more known to people, they really deserve it.

Same. They'd be a pretty good Roadburn addition, methinks
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
24.02.2020 - 12:11
Tornado Of Souls

I love this record, they remind me of Pallbearer with added harsh vocals.
24.02.2020 - 16:06
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Electric wizzard is not trad doom, its stoner doom and wierd band
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
09.06.2020 - 11:02
Rating: 8
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by Tornado Of Souls on 24.02.2020 at 12:11

I love this record, they remind me of Pallbearer with added harsh vocals.

Agree with you, I was listening to the album today and Pallbearer instantly came to mind, so glad to read your comment to know that someone else noticed that too.
The sun shines over The Fool...

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