Eremit are a band I have reviewed many times in the past, and I have been a fan of their work since their debut offering Carrier Of Weight back in 2018. But these German sludge doom behemoths may have outdone even themselves on their new album, Wearer Of Numerous Forms, which is out now through Fucking Kill Records and Drei Gleichen. Recorded live, over a five-day period and continuing their epic tales of a hermit trapped upon an endless ocean, this is by far their most ambitious and time swallowing piece yet.
A double CD, or quadruple vinyl if you are that way inclined, the opening ‘track’ is over an hour long. Conflicting Aspects Of Reality is going for the Dopesmoker/Absolutego approach of just giving us everything in one go. The first five minutes are a lumbering, sludgy crush, waves of sickening groove rolling in from a thunderous ocean. You get shades of Sleep, Electric Wizard, Weedeater; most oppressive doom bands that you can think of seep into Eremit‘s vast melting caldera.
After that though, we start to see an increasing sway towards decrepit death/doom, as the riffs slow down, the vocals get even more visceral and the atmosphere looms up from impenetrable darkness. There is a desperate horn, calling in the dark for help. There’s an extended quiet section where delicate guitar melodies drift in the void, like the eye of a storm. The jolt when the bulldozing riff and roar comes back in is real, and we are only HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST SONG! This is where the drone really begins though, with subterranean riffs crawling through humming ambience and the way this multi-textured journey is brought back from the brink into tectonic doom is masterful, ouroboros-esque work.
the riffs slow down, the vocals get even more visceral and the atmosphere looms up from impenetrable darkness…
I mean, where do you even go from there? Well, Entombed is the short snappy number at a mere twenty-one minutes, an interlude almost compared with the other two! A grinding, guttural riff and vocal collaboration stalks off into the distance, a primal rumbling underneath relentless in its motion. It lumbers between a dirging funeral doom crawl and a thunderous primitive stomp, maintaining the power of each while never getting boring.
Closer Passage Of Poor Light is another forty-seven minutes of crushing ebb and flow; the opening is dominated by delicate tones before swelling into an almost black metal influenced piece, frosted melodies permeating the gloomy walls of doom. Even when the glacial crawling abyss feeling comes back, there is still that black atmosphere shrouding everything. There’s a lot more dynamic shifts in Passage Of Poor Light between the brutality and the cold, bleak quiet, and it makes for probably the most interesting piece here.
A three track, two hour plus death/doom/sludge/drone/noise record sounds like career suicide for most bands, but Eremit are not most bands. As their previous records signalled, Wearer Of Numerous Forms seemed almost inevitable in the band’s search for meaning and true heaviness in the riff. If you have the time and the patience, this album unlocks itself in layers, piece at a time, and when you can take it as a whole then you cannot help but wonder just how Eremit did it. But they did, and it is glorious. A magnificent tribute to the power of the Riff.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson