Hiram – See The Thing Within The Thing
Self Released – 2013
Doom, Progressive, Sludge
If there’s one thing you should know about England’s Hiram, it’s that you need a full spin through on any of their full-lengths before you can get a feel for what kinds of sounds the group dabble in. Now that could be said of any band that takes on the risky genre tag of “Progressive Sludge”; In some cases that’s code for a lot of extra instrumentation, meandering song structures (usually with some cliché type of crescendo built-in), and generally nothing new. In Hiram, and their tongue-twister of an album title: See The Thing Within The Thing’s case, it means expertly navigating down the Doom/Sludge/Prog continuum over the course of an album. From the opening instrumental doom fountain of “See The Thing”, to the Zozobra-esque “Winner Dies Last (Aspiration)”, we feel firmly entrenched in a slightly proggy sludge puddle. However the remainder of the album is where the band’s true Prog tendencies start to reveal themselves. “Conspiration” and “Respiration” give us a glimpse into this with their increasing use of softer moments and the final 17-minute “It Can’t Come Quick Enough” hammers home the prog/psychedelic side so much that the listener forgets where this journey started. Do not fear any of the pretentious, Progressive Sludge bad connotations! Hiram does it right.
(Written by Matthew McGarity)