08 Nov 2019 - Thorsten
Sludge | Division Records | Release date: 08 Nov 2019
Switzerland’s music scene is thriving this year of our lord 2019 – Rorcal, Coilguns, the whole HUC scene and many more. Charlene Beretah from Neuchâtel is one of those bands from the second line of heavy bands to come out of mountainous Switzerland at the moment.
Initially started in 2014 as a duo and, since 2016, a threesome after adding a guitar player (to make their sound heavier) they now released their first full-length Ram via Division Records. The title of the record is also its party program!
Like many heavy bands they chose to go for a distorted, sometimes noisy sound to transport their idea of modern sludge – quite punkish, a bit crusty and sometimes pretty groovy but always and foremost heavy!
Very often the five songs breathe a lot of doom (witness the lengths with one track ticking in at over eight minutes, two even over eleven minutes) while at the same time never giving up on the necessities of the songs, whether it’s a bit of time or an outbreak to keep the oppressive, claustrophobic mood, because one thing is for sure: Here no sun shines behind closed doors. The way the vocals by Thierry are incorporated into the whole soundscape is definitely interesting; in “Hurt” (an ever-winding descent towards purgatory) they are in the foreground as he leads the way with some harsher passages between spoken words and infernal screams. “Call of Darkness” witnesses an elegant intro full of small interwoven electronics, then transforms with noisy shots from left and right before it completely bursts after about a minute, a song so full of life that it’s hard to grasp it all – here again, the vocals are very crusty and aggressive.
Their whole sound-system and simultaneously the listener is being thrown to and fro with Sâver, Ufomammut and Neurosis being the cornerstones to their songwriting. No one can deny Charlene Beretah a thorough knowledge of how to write songs and using small changes in dynamics and sound in order to transform the whole song and/or its atmosphere. However, one might also see that – at the moment – they are still a band reaching for the places in the first line of awesome noisy Swiss sludge or black metal bands. On a good route to those spots they are, but not quite there yet.