Unearthly Trance have been stewing in their own dark juices for seven long years, but now these doom-laden New Yorkers are back in action with new album Stalking The Ghost. There’s no messing around here, just treacle-thick sludge riffs and guttural howls, delivered like a noisy thud to the gut. Stalking The Ghost is released by Relapse.
Vinyl LP £14.49 RR73531
LP on Relapse.
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- Stalking the Ghost by Unearthly Trance
It’s doom hour here in the Norman Towers (I’m gonna whistleblow on the company and let you all know that there is no element of tower in our workplace) as wailing vocalists deliver sermons up on high from every speaker in the room, sheltered from the crashing waves of fuzz produced by the bandmates underneath. As my colleagues listen to… some kinda metal pantomime… I’m imbibing the mushy distortions of Unearthly Trance, whose latest record on Relapse offers a heavy and feeling type of doom where the vocalist is worried and the guitars are trembling.
Stopping short of growls, our lead singer in shining armor here adopts a clear but epic vocal that traces riffs in tow. “Into the Spiral” is a perfect intro, a repetitive tune rising and falling until the melody is moving around like dust, the lyrics whispered into the void -- at its quietest point, it comes back in for a huge B section that hates you and everyone you know. It’s on “Dream State Arsenal” the band start to unleash their fury, with huge, chasmic breakdowns joining a proper growly vocal in the mud. It’s thick and sticky, this kinda doom, and it’s to the band’s advantage they go all in on it -- they sound a lot less meandering at their hardest.
This one’s long, unforgiving and slow until its last (and most proggily soloed) moments. It mostly rides by on languishing chords, furiously relentless drumming and a gruelling approach to riffs. These are all the kind of things that sound like hard work until I retrospectively call it a “fun listen”, which it definitely is, because when they get it right, their doom sounds silly and stoic -- two things the genre benefits from being.
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