16 Sep 2022 - Knut
Instrumental Metal/Post Sludge Metal/Sludge Metal | self-released | Release date: 16 Sep 2022
The guitars riff, the guitars fuzz, they pluck and go high-pitched while a low-end bass sometimes takes over the riffing and pushes the distorted guitars aside along with the energetic drumming. These German musicians are really generous with their musical outpour as this debut release clocks in on 78 minutes including three remixes. You may ask, but no - never a dull moment and also always has something new to uncover in the intricate, often dense sonics.
With this as a background, it is just fitting that they call their album Cosmic Radiation as they discharge unavoidable beams of music in our direction, effortlessly changing styles and tempi as they do. As Noise Raid do not have vocals they are free from verse-chorus-verse. When one is free of this one can make songs like ”Destroying Everything Seems Like The Best Option”. The track sets out with clean guitar plucking, drums and bass holding a steady and muted tempo. Without changing the tempo, a fuzzy guitar rises above the melodic theme with small changes in the melody. The track turns slowly into sludge metal chugging and riffing while the low-end bass becomes clearer and more poignant, holding up the melodic theme and a new fuzzy solo flies out from the foundation and swirls above. The slow plucking guitar comes back before a fast, riffing, heavy metal end to the track.
This is the longest track, and that enables them to further elaborate their music as they also do on the wonderful ”Falcon In The Gloomy Sky”, another long track. After an elongated start it is quite dazzling when they let the deep bass follow the very varied guitar, both when it performes in clean mode or fuzz mode. One can almost see the falcon soaring. The song is very heavy and sludgey, and the fuzzy guitar solo and the way it plays out, will leave you, just like me, with the earworm of a haunting melodic theme.
They contrast this with the next track, ”Enucleator” which is played in a style close to seventies hard rock´n´roll songs, even with wah-wah effects. The bass rhythm and the drums gather beneath the heavy riffs. It is a playful piece of music shapeshifting along, even taking a short dip into lounge music. The eleventh track, ”Würgegriff”, also has strong nods to classic hard rock songs, even with an included cowbell. It is a powerful fast rumbling song with heavy riffing over the low-tuned bass and I think it also gives a nod to the black´n´roll-style Kvelertak is famous for (there might be a clue in the track´s title ;-).
The drums are not just there to purvey the rhythm on this album, it is much more. The bass is quite freewheeling too, often leaving the heavy distorted guitars to hand out melody, chugs and rhythm. The third song ”Coronae On Miranda”, after an echoing clean guitar, opens the view for the song to dive into melodic distorted riffs while the drums propel forward with an energetic beat, bordering on a drum solo to take over the sonics. There is even something resembling a glockenspiel thrown in for good measure in between the hits on the cymbals. On ”Snake River” the drums are close to blast mode below the bursting guitars and the fast low-end bass, and there is some “glockenspiel” here too. Likewise on ”Black Fog”, I think I can notice some d-beats under the swirling guitar solo with fast heavy atmospheric sludge in the end.
The album opens and ends with two different approaches on the instrumental metal music they play. The first song ”Homunkulus” is like an overture to what is to come on the hour long album. The musicians glide seamlessly between guitar styles, change into high pitched solo guitars, move through sludge, fuzz, hard rock and doom-laden metal, even with a nod to the theme from Twilight Zone. The music strides along with low bass and drums.
On the last song, ”Solstice”, the musicians break loose and start experimenting with sounds, plucking, riffing and then fast forward with bass at the front of the mix. After a breather, the track thunders heavily, mixing styles, a riffing guitar going wild in the mix with growling and dripping electrical static effects over the musical theme. A really exciting track to end with, pointing forward and with more than one nod to the Norwegian master Terje Rypdal.
One essential part of the music that makes it such a stimulating experience is that these musicians know that silence is an important thing in all heavy, doom-laden music. Silence as a metaphor that is; they sprinkle the fast and heavy music with breaks and breathers to loosen the tension, give relief for the listener before they give each track a new turn upon which to build the melodic themes. I am sure this makes it great to play the music, as it makes for quite an exquisite listening experience.