vrijdag 4 oktober 2019

Problem With Dragons - Ascendant

Problem With Dragons - Ascendant
Global Zero Records - 2019
Sludge, Doom, Progressive
Rated: ****

It’s unclear exactly what the titular problem is, but by the sounds of it I pity the Smaug that Problem With Dragons takes issue with. Bringing to bear shared vocals, absolutely filthy guitar tones, and sledgehammer drumming on their third album Ascendant, the Easthampton, Massachusetts trio are armed to the teeth with a mix of sludge, doom, and progressive rock touches that crushes in both its weight and mood. Built on the foundation of relentless kit-smashing drums, the riffs are thick and caked in dirty tone, reminiscent of Vokonis or a slower High on Fire in their circular, winding patterns. The vocals are less straightforward, however, and see the band members sharing vocal duties that range between throaty growls and sustained cries a la Mastodon or Conan, adding a depth of haunting emotion to the sludgy instrumentation. This all combines to create a signature sound that shifts across the LP’s ten tracks between the straight-ahead buzzsaw riffs of opener “The Omicron”, hooky rocker “The Reptilian Eye”, and Alice in Chains/High on Fire hybrid “The Ascendant”. Problem With Dragons’ third release is a sludgy, doomed behemoth of an album, wielding crushing weight and dynamic vocal performances to fell foul beasts and puny eardrums alike.

(Written by Kyle)

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