Old Man Gloom: No (Hydra Head)
Long running sludge-metal band Old Man Gloom have finally released their follow up to 2004’s “Christmas”. Fans of the band have been rewarded for their wait with what’s undoubtedly one of the albums of the year, one that demands to be heard by everyone with an interest in this genre of music.
Old Man Gloom have been silent for almost a decade now. Their last release was the blistering ”ËChristmas’ from 2004 and their absence has seen the rise of both pretenders and contemporaries within their field. The brainchild of Isis frontman Aaron Turner, Old Man Gloom also consists of Nate Newton from Converge and Caleb Scofield from Cave In (amongst others). The Converge connection is further solidified by the presence of Kurt Ballou on production, at which he excels himself once again.
Isis were one of the forerunners of the Post-Hardcore boom of the last decade. Together with Cult of Luna, Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky they created a genre of music which has been heavily imitated and used as a source of inspiration for countless bands. Isis are unfortunately no more, having disbanded in 2010, but Turner is showing no signs of resting upon the legacy which he helped to create.
This is the second release from him this year (the first being with his other project, the more punk oriented Split Cranium) and it’s an absolutely essential purchase for any fan of dense, brutal metal.
From the moment which instrumental opener ”ËGrand Inversion’ ploughs into the chugging and crystal clear riffs of ”ËCommon Species’, your attention will be immediately grabbed, Old Man Gloom succeed in maintaining that attention for the duration of the album. The aforementioned production is reminiscent of Converge classic ”ËJane Doe’ or Mastodon’s ”ËRemission’ in that there is a raw, dirge-like sound to it that is balanced with an almost cinematic construction. The vocals are guttural and echo Isis at their most dysfunctional and aggressive. ”ËTo Carry the Flame’ (see below) has the potential to become a live anthem and as a whole, this record is an absolute powerhouse.
It fills me with enthusiasm and joy to recommend ”ËNo’ as highly as I possibly can, I am incredibly excited to become more familiar with it over time and I know that it will soon take pride of place alongside the output of the member’s other bands. I hope that they tour Europe on the back of this release; in the meantime, I’ll be blasting it at home and forming a circle pit with the cats in the living room.
For a full stream of the album or to buy it visit the band’s Bandcamp.
Old Man Gloom can be found on Facebook here.