Album Title: Loki Bound
Label: Milam Records
"Loki Bound" opens (and closes) with the sound of dripping water, slowly chipping away at the listener's patience. Then the guitars come in: heavy, distorted, with plenty of low-end. These, too, come and go in a slow, rhythmic manner, broken by snarled ramblings in the foreground. Long minutes go by with just cymbals and a handful of isolated chords, while the vocals thrash at the confinement.
That's precisely the sort of gnashing, frustrated insanity a title like "Loki Bound" would suggest, but between that and the relentlessly slow pace, it also makes the record seem a bit long. Thus, "Loki Bound" is likely to be too ambient for some tastes -- the section at around 11 minutes is positively Floydian -- but the metal parts are convincingly heavy, echoing with doomy guitar and distant, cavernous vocals. The layering of the vocals and guitar is impressive throughout; multi-tracking creates the illusion of a choir of mad, whispering voices, while the guitar and bass creep along beneath. The drumming tends to be quiet and understated, yet it's one of the most memorable things about the album, especially the cymbal work.
All in all, this record feels more coherent than the last one did: everything flows together smoothly, despite the strange juxtapositions within. The underlying structure shows through in transitions like the ones at 3 and 25 minutes, when the mood changes and new themes are introduced. The thoughtful pace was also a (pleasant) surprise, given how frantic the last record was; doom/black metal was the last thing I expected, but these guys really pulled it off.
If you like your metal slow and weird, "Loki Bound" might be a good fit.