Irish sludge doom crushers Genuflection‘s debut record Veil came out last March, but they have just added a vinyl release to the initial digital and cassette run, so it is always good to revisit some albums when they get an opportunity to get out there to new listeners. This is four tracks and thirty seven minutes of devastatingly dark death/doom/sludge.
Opener Of Wolves Kin is possessed of a riff that continues to rumble and groan throughout, creating a hypnotic effect that will not allow you to go. But this is no peaceful, meditative hum, this is a nihilistic, swaying void rhythm that captures your mind. The vocals are guttural growls from beneath, and the entire piece is sodden in a miasmic filth. Beseiged by Deceased occasionally allows chinks of light through its oppressive, distorted hum but it is so rare that you’ll not always notice them. Somehow this feels even heavier and more hopeless than Of Wolves Kin, particularly as it begins to slide slowly but inexorably towards the void at the end.
this album has cast death and doom in a funeral shroud…
Heretic Apostle surprises by almost becoming, well catchy is the wrong word but that is the sentiment. The solo is a strangely bluesy moment for a piece of music so primal and dense. Closer Wraith is the longest track here at almost twelve minutes, and it takes all of that to really make you feel every musical sinew. Be it that morbid groove that shakes the song into life at the start, the mesmerising distortion field of the mid section that masks some soothing melodic tones, or the deathly stoner thrust of the closing four minutes that drives us restlessly to the end, it is the highlight of a record that engaged me utterly at every level.
There are times I listen to heavy music to disappear into my own thoughts, times I listen for headbanging pleasures and times I listen for stress relief. Genuflection tick none of those boxes but create their own. Now, sometimes I listen to heavy music because I need to feel insignificant beneath the weight of true darkness and know that where I am can never be as despair riddled as this. Veil is a great title, as this album has cast death and doom in a funeral shroud and has captured my attention completely.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson