July 4, 2012

Old Man Gloom - No

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Old Man Gloom are a sludge/doom metal/post-metal super-group currently based in Boston, MA. Formed by Aaron Turner (Isis) and drummer Santos Montano (Zozobra) in 1999, the band now include Nate Newton (Converge) and Caleb Scofield (Cave In, Zozobra). No is their first album since 2004's Christmas and its release marks the continuation of a new productive period for Old Man Gloom, who just played several dates in the U.S., their first live performances in years, at the beginning of May. Instead of fanfare and triumph, however, Old Man Gloom have marked their return with flamethrowers and anthrax.

No is a sick, angry album that allows itself the time to wallow, like an infection swelling under the skin until it must be lanced. The sound is incredibly bright and metallic at the forefront, with a deeper, anguished thickness in the background. The guitars buzz like a robotic hornets' nest while the cymbals crash against each other like a fistful of gleaming knives. The sludge element comes via the pacing, crawling along like angry magma. The vocals are so harsh, so poisonous that they're capable of raising welts, causing blisters to fill with blood. The emotion that drives No is one full of backlash, of counterpunch and reactionary fury.

This record stands against, denies, defies and negates. It strives to be the opposite of positivity, acknowledges and gives a voice to those moments when rejection and revulsion are the only response, when rebuilding is impossible and it's time to strip and scourge, give up and burn to the ground.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Read an interview with Old Man Gloom here.

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