As with most sub cultures or musical niches, Sludge and Doom are not without their clichés. The concepts of addiction, misery and hard times have become a warm cess filled safety cave, from which bands can regurgitate their predecessors’ ideas without an independent thought. They are under the misconception that they are a real part of that thing, when their only tie is an edgy t shirt they had done in the same vein. I suppose it’s comfortable in the same respect that feeling your own warm piss moistening your leg is quite pleasant before you realise what’s really going on. It was probably this shameful reason that brought me to the attention of Djiin And Minskatonic, while reading through a promo synopsis: “Sludge, Doom, Takes me to a dark place full of addiction”. This sounds familiar and well within my comfort zone to write something about, “Downtuned, warped, THC addled noize”. What I found was certainly not within these confinements.
Firstly the idea of the band being within the doom spectrum, were completely misconstrued. The songs are made up of what sound like Dave Mustane’s discarded riffs slowed down to a frustrating in-between zone that feels a little bit like being stuck in traffic; you want it to move the fuck on even if your destination is equally depressing. The tone of the guitar is a strange choice. It’s crisp and sharp, which emphasises the fact that it’s doing something it shouldn’t be, while the bass underneath has a more fitting bone rattling quality with which the guitars are at odds. I might not have made it through the recording but for one morbid fascination, or amusement, which came in vocal form from the “Summoner of Ghouls”. The mental image behind the voice belongs to a live action role play enthusiast who battles mighty beasts with his battle axe come the sweet release of game day, he is praised for his bravery and celebrates with a foaming grog from his horn before throwing the fair damsel he saved over his shoulder. He takes off his chainmail, puts his fleece back on, gets back in his mini micra, goes home, cry wanks then wakes up and goes to work as an IT consultant.
Without getting too wrapped up in lyrical content, I strongly suggest you give ‘Vulcans Forge’, a listen, while strokes of genius such as “Mighty Bron saves the wench”, can be heard all over the record. Most of the vocals are in the style of an old English Bard. The occasional line or word however is growled like a medieval villain for impact.
Aside thoroughly enjoying the bards tales of the realm, my continued listening to the metronome predictability coupled with a hard to place weirdness in ‘Forever In The Realm’ seemed to be tied with a strange and powerful urge to take the yellow pages out of the draw and destroy it with my teeth.
I feel particularly cheap and deeply suspicious that I might just be a cunt for being so critical of someone’s creation, but honestly the album has in-fact entertained me brilliantly in unexpected and at points undesirable ways. I do urge you to listen to see for yourself.
Scribed by: Michael Collins