27 Apr 2023 - Knut
Post-Metal | Atmospheric Sludge Metal | Venerate Industries | Release date: 23 Apr 2023 | Favorite song: Casualties
Since their inception in 2008 and their releases, the Greeks from Allochiria have carved their place in the “Post” genres. Not at least with this new release that is a great follow-up to 2017´s Throes. The band has become more intense and further developed their musical scope, at the same time keeping its unique sound of fuzzy Post-Metal, intense vocals, deep bass, and diverse drums mixed in layers of Atmospheric Sludge Metal.
We have to talk about the bass work here because sometimes on this release it is quite unique. It is like they have further developed and incorporated what we heard on ”Lifespotting” (from Throes). Already at the start of this new release, on the opener ”We Have Nothing”, the bass rises like an enormous hunchbacked whale between two distorted fuzzy guitars that open the track. The bass is heaving and sinking in the tight soundscape as Irene P.´s vocals penetrate the sound with aggressive and intense hoarse screams. It is so well done, so well composed - no wonder it has taken six years to develop.
The band has been touring with all the great forerunners in the genre and I am sure they have learned a lot and poured all of that into the twists and turns of their music. As on the track ”Shedding Character” that opens with the strumming six-string playing a beautiful melody while the rest follows. The guitars hold the elongated melody while the bass follows in the deep end to lay the foundation of the melody. This is so wonderfully executed, you just want it to last a bit longer, but it warps into heavy dense music with intense vocals. But there is relief when the first part is repeated, the wonderful bass saunters forward until the next surge where growls and snarls fight each other. The heavy guitars have a slower tempo, making vast sounds as they fade away.
Irene has her own instrument - her voice which is very diverse. It can growl, it can throw out aggressive screamo snarls, and hoarse intense words. On the track ”Ocean” it becomes very dynamic when two singing styles are used against each other. The heavy and melodic music turns into a vast soundscape with melodic tremolos that lighten up the sonics and far away there is Irene P. screaming snarls and it is answered by her growling hoarse vocals. It is so profoundly integrated into the music. The bass picks up speed and the song gets faster with bursts from the guitar. The riffs go into a holding pattern and the drums at the bottom sometimes turn into blast speed. Towards the end, the vocals fight each other in the foreground as a tremolo guitar is raised to hover among them.
”Ocean” is followed by the short ”Interlude” with sound effects of heaving waves and a distant atmospheric guitar. The heaving waves break and swirl and surge stronger and a foreboding deep bass sounds before it turns into the next song ”Casualties”. It might be a coincidence, but I cannot help reflecting that these three songs reflect the theme from the Greek artist Spectral Lore´s recently released 11 Days (reviewed on these pages). That record is about the tragedies of refugees drowning amass in the Mediterranean Sea as politicians wash their hands of any guilt and quarrel among themselves. Just seeing those three song titles together, and the mix each song has of intense aggressive and elongated reflective melodic parts to me brought up this connection that might not be.
Anyways! The music is good, diverse and engaging throughout the album, and the song ”Turning Point” is a good example of that. The fuzzy heavy opening by the guitars with one of them bursting in between the riffs, heavy drumming and prolonged riffs. The music lingers before it becomes heavier and swings into a part with clear strumming and picking on the guitar strings, the bass rolls back and there is an indistinct conversation between two males. The music develops behind the conversation with the guitars floating in the background. After that, the music surges back as heavy and angry as ever, everything at full throttle. An abrupt end.
”Darklight” closes the album and is another example of a band at the height of their song writing-skills. The opening is a heavy, repetitive-staccato with distant screams from the vocals. Then it slowly warps into a melodic theme that floats in the background from a high-pitched guitar as the rest of the instruments drive forward into the heaviness. The high-pitched guitar turns distorted as the music tightens. The vocals are both hoarse growling and snarling screams. The music lets go, but soon tightens again with heavy broad strokes. A fast high-pitched guitar turns up and some distant samples talk before the music fades away.
This release has everything an avid listener of fuzzy Post Metal, Atmospheric Sludge Metal appreciates: Heavy distorted parts, dense riffing, diverse drumming, a melodic foundation from the bass, wide open elongated melodic breathers, and an aggressive and intense singer. You can compare Allochiria with the established forerunners and see that they are up there on the same level. Allochiria is very welcome there.