Artist: Ivory Primarch
Album: As Life Burns
Label: Cursed Monk Records
Release Date: 05/11/2021
The band hail from Melbourne Australia and play an atmospheric and semi-psychedelic brand of doom death with sludge elements. The band is Vorador and Elzevir and the two of them make a serious amount of noise.
The music presented on the band’s debut full-length album is crushingly heavy. While the album moves at a creeping pace the force and weight behind the music makes it hit far harder than you would expect. The album almost trudges at a funeral doom tempo and has the emotional and aesthetic equivalent of a funeral dirge. To say that the guitar tone is downtuned and reverb laden would be an understatement. This is paired with slow pounding drum work and dark and ominous reverb and ambient tones.
The vocals on the album are raw and powerful and shift between a deeply guttural roar and rawer shrieked style. The back and forth between the two styles was a solid decision from the band as it really helps to break things up. This is paired with numerous spoken audio clips to give a haunting effect to the release. There’s almost a ritualistic or hypnotic sort of swoon to the album that constantly pules in and out throughout. Lyrically the album tells stories of the people, beasts and places that personify the concepts, ideas, visions plaguing Elzevir’s mind. Included in these concepts are of course Warhammer 40k inspired themes, just one more element that makes this band worth listening to.
I will warm you that to listen to the full album is quite an undertaking. You’ll be in for just under 60 minutes of crushingly heavy, harsh, and depressive music. The constant unfaltering pace and use of reverb makes everything bleed together and the listener loses track of time. The album becomes somewhat dizzying and all-enveloping and begins to cause feelings of stress and unease. If you complete the journey, it is a rewarding experience, but it isn’t an easy experience.
Overall, I was impressed with the band’s debut. Personally, I had never heard of them before listening to this, so I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not usually a huge fan of funeral doom style albums but this one was an exception as it had enough interesting elements to prevent me for getting bored at any point. If you like your music slow and heavy and sci-fi inspired them this is the album for you.
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