Review: Eremit ‘Desert Of Ghouls’

Relatively new to the scene, Eremit have been around since early 2015 and have seemingly challenged themselves to create some of the most downtuned, filthy and crushing sludge/doom music ever committed to record. Having drawn the attention of Transcending Obscurity Records they unleashed their debut Carrier Of Weight in 2019.

Eremit ‘Desert Of Ghouls’

This powerful piece was a statement of intent that stretched three tracks into a structure which lasted over an hour. Despite its epic run time, they won fans with the vision they were crafting. Critically well received, Carrier Of Weight began what is apparently ‘a continuous story of a lonesome hermit trapped on a seemingly endless ocean’. With each song representing a chapter in a bleak, dystopian saga that evolves with every release.

Now in 2020 Eremit bring us chapters 4 & 5 in the form of Beheading The Innumerous and City of Râsh-il-nûm, two epic length tracks that clock in at a combined run time of 20 minutes.

Almost short and sweet compared to Carrier’s thirty three minute sprawling closer, Cacoon Of Souls, it still manages to conjure that classic slouching towards Bethlehem feeling that great sludge/doom albums are duty bound to articulate, least they fail, in their very nature.

Still staying true to their mission statement of ridiculously heavy, grinding sonic defilement, these two tracks practically drag themselves from the speakers dripping with the weight of their own entropy. And where exactly we are in the hermits journey, it really doesn’t sound like he’s having the great time.

The Teutonic trio have tried to address some of the criticisms of their last release about pace and structuring whilst keeping their eye on their singular mindset.

Beheading The Innumerous works through several paces of unrelenting anvil heavy pummelling; the three members (Marco Becker on drums, Pascal Sommer – guitar and Moritz Fabian guitars and vocals) combine to carve out a cavernous sound that is fuzzed up to the max.

these two tracks practically drag themselves from the speakers dripping with the weight of their own entropy…

The downturning makes the whole thing so heavy I initially did a double take at the lack of bass. Underpinned by the driving drumming, the band either stagger or lurch back and forth between a slow crawl and a determined plodding for the most part mirroring the passion screaming gurgles of the vocals.

The band manage to maintain a sense of groove whatever speed they’re in and they manage to create a sense of build and release, slowing and (comparatively) softening before bringing back the full force.

City of Râsh-il-nûm is a more atmospheric piece with a slow creeping start with picked, delicate instrument sounds that shows there is more to the band than just relentless riffing. The almost progressive, lazy meandering guitar solo conjures a hazy, almost middle eastern out of body experience with the percussion. Only the slight military like control of the snare hints at menace before the track cranks the tension higher and higher.

However, when Fabian enters the track halfway through its twelve minutes, all peaceful thoughts are banished as the raft, bobbing serenely in the eye of the storm, gets violently tossed and churned as the band build towards a canter.

This second track is the better of the two here as it combines dexterous, melodic musicianship and murderous intent in the sheer power delivered and as Desert Of Ghouls collapses in a squall of feedback, slumping to the end of its journey and definitely leaves on a high note.

Eremit took some flak for ambition on their debut release where it was felt, in some quarters, that they lacked the skill at that point to deliver their vision. Obviously this EP makes up a third of the length of Carrier Of Weight, but on the strength of these two tracks, they’re clearly moving forward (albeit slowly!) and to finish the experience wanting more, is definitely the best compliment I can give them.

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden