Feb 22, 2012

Lurk - S/T ...

Total Rust Music has really been delivering some killer riffage lately and they have just released two more and they are both self-titled sludgy onslaughts. One is a band called Tort that I will review soon and the other is this eccentric mob from Finland known as Lurk. The music on this album is as ugly as the album art itself, a slime infested, eccentric blend of black/death metal a-la Celtic Frost and Venom, the melodic death doom of a My Dying Bride, the post-rock of a Neurosis and the slothful doom crawl of a band like Winter. This album is not an instant win, it is a grower and one that takes some time to appreciate fully but there is some masterful passages of discordant riffs waiting to be uncovered.

The opening chugathon that is 'Soar' is Celtic Frost inspired brooding, atmospheric riffage. There is not much in the way of tempo changes, in fact the whole first half of this album is mostly just played all in the same gear, that gear being slowish, depressive and sluggish. However the following 'Unfinished' has more of a death-doom crossover feel with the vocals of 'K.Koskinen' sealing the deal in that direction with his gruesome, raw vocals. 'Codec of Becoming God' is more Winter meets Celtic Frost death-sludge. The lackadaisical, listless, and languishing riffing is helped along with a hellish bass rumble that is the backbone to the putrid slime of a sound that literally melts out of the speakers. This track features the first and one of the rare detours on this album with a middle Eastern flavoured passage that occurs about halfway into the piece.

Next up is 'Fire the Blood Sky' and the band finally get some psyche-rock groove happening with a tune that is not too far away from the kind of thing that Electric Wizard has been doing lately. While it is not exactly a toe-tapper, it is a lot more infectious than what is else is on the album. 'Pitch Beneath Eternity' has the band getting a bit more diverse in their approach but again, they are still stuck in the same mid-tempo chugging gear so you can be forgiven in thinking it is all starting to sound the same at this point. The album ends just 36 minutes later with 'Deliverance' and while it is not much more than a Electric Wizard styled crawling jam, it is the best tune this album has to offer. There are great riffs that are instantly memorable this time and there is even some interesting melody lines, a few more tracks like this one would have been a good move.

This album is short, not big on originality or variation but it does have the sound that sludge metal fans crave - huge meaty riffs, hellish bass grooves, and a mid-tempo chug that is easy to head-bang to. The problem is nearly the entire album is like this so it does get a little tedious by three or four tracks into the disc. It is a good crossover release though for those that like the classic death-metal of Autopsy, Celtic Frost and the slighty crusty doom-sludge of a Coffins or a Winter. Fans of old-school death-doom should get some enjoyment out of a couple of My Dying Bride styled melodies that appear on the disc and it is pretty hard not to love the heaviness of it all. This is certainly not a life-changer, nor is it exactly what you can call "essential listening" but it still holds its own in the sludge-metal genre. Worth checking out....7.5/10
Lurk @ MySpace
Total Rust Music

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