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Soom: Night On The Meadow

As seems to be the way of late, I’m bringing you this review from Ukraine, and from the past - 2015 to be precise - and this time Soom have already gone on to release an EP and their second album since this first full-lengther arrived. In fairness, however, I’m guessing that Soom have so far passed most people by and there’s little doubt that the ten tracks laid out here prove that to be a missed opportunity. Stoner, grind and doom with a tinge of something a little darker and more foreboding is the order of the day as this band crawl, scrape and howl at an interminably slow pace but with a grim and focused determination. All of the information on the CD and booklet is in Ukrainian, so detail is scant, but a little digging reveals a three-piece outfit featuring Al Kova (who might be familiar to those steeped in the underground Russian black metal scene) on ‘noise’ and vocals, Tomrer on bass and ‘drones’ and Erea on drums.

The mood and tempo is resolute throughout, with Soom a determined and effective hammer smash of mind numbing layers that slowly wear you down and bring you onside. This is remote, barren fare that initially feels like it will be too tough to traverse and yet the skill displayed turns the key in the lock much quicker than you’d instinctively believe. Much though the vocals are sparse and often deep in the mix, they undoubtedly add atmosphere and mood in a way seldom encountered and with clever little releases in the shape of some almost ethnic Eastern European fret work, the towering washes of sound that are such a feature of this release are allowed to somehow grow and evolve into something ever more threatening.

Desolation, hopelessness and despair are assured, but there’s actually an uplifting air that ever so occasionally peers through the gloom and keeps you tuned in to what otherwise could have been an overly monotone journey. Often that is a real barrier for me to overcome when fully trying to engage with this style of approach, but the crafted and honed attack laid out by Soom proves much more rewarding. It may be a few years old and it might be from a less celebrated musical location but with this release Soom thoroughly grab the attention. In this case, that there is already more catalogue to explore is an unexpected bonus.

Track Listing
1. The Invisible Axe
2. Grandpa
3. Celebration Of The Plant
4. Strange Dream In 419 Years Before Awakening
5. The Sand
6. The Stone
7. Sioboda Men
8. Electric Molfar
9. The Last Trip
10. Dirge

Added: March 18th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Soom @ bandcamp
Hits: 492
Language: english

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