Title: A Throne In Haze, A World Ablaze (EP)
Label: Sludgelord Records
Release Date: 07 February 2020
Format Reviewed: Digital Download
It sounds like they’re smoking something alright…
Returning with the second part in their “Toad King” trilogy, after 2018’s “Toad King” EP, GOBLINSMOKER makes music as dirty and sludgy as the name would suggest. From the get go, opening track “Smoked In Darkness” fills the air with a sound so absolutely filthy and overdriven, it’s like crawling through sickly sweet, viscous, engine oil.
One big, reverberating, sludgy riff of fuzzy guitar, huge, overdriven bass, and pounding drums that hit hard, while sounding like they’re casually falling through a deep pungent fog of weed smoke, drive into your head again and again. The vocals meanwhile (in trve Black Metal style) could be the sound of a demon calling up from the dark depths of a cavernous tomb, 50 feet underground, beneath the roots of a rotting, putrid tree.
The following track “Let Them Rot” is possibly even filthier and sludgier, slowing to a booming, overdriven crawl, with crashing cymbals and more distant demonic screaming from the depths. As the band slowly drives through this droning dirge, something in the repetition becomes hypnotic. Sudden, cacophonous, sped up pounding at the end, gives a little more of a Black Metal flavour overall.
This music isn’t scary, and I don’t think it’s meant to be, but it does become a kind of mesmerizing like a slippery kiss from a poisonous toad, as you slowly suffocate in a swamp of stagnant water. Continuing the trend, the final track “The Forest” somehow manages to get even dirtier and sludgier again, like being dragged further into the rotten woods and sinking deeper into the slime.
“A Throne In Haze, A World Ablaze” is definitely an evocative experience. Watch out for that toad king, he might just smoke you too. 7/10 Tom Boatman
7/10 Victory is possible
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