Sunday, November 15, 2009

Laudanum - Coronation

The latest release from Oakland-based Laudanum is a fragmented collection of ambient doom-ish noise that only adequately reveals the band’s self-proclaimed “blackened instrument damage” when it’s listened to as a whole. Some moments, such as much of lengthy album closer “Apotheosis,” bring to mind the kinds of dissonant and industrial noises. Framing the disc as the score to an apocalyptic film is a good way to approach it, as expecting conventional structures (even by heavy music standards) will only lead to disappointment. There are a few moments on the album that move closer to more familiar metal shores, such as with the sporadic appearance of the harsh black/doom-style vocals. Even when expecting a less conventional approach to things, however, the album doesn’t always deliver the necessary goods to keep it interesting. It’s not that it’s boring, it's just not my thing maybe, — the whole is just more important than the individual parts. Most sludge band attempt to crush their listeners with their heavy riffs and violent drumming, while this band with its ambient sections attempts to take the listener to the point of despair and leave them there, trembling.

With this all in mind, The Coronation demands a full listen (probably multiple listens) in order to appreciate its larger project and to overlook its less fantastic moments.


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