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Laudanum : The Coronation

Interesting to see how the Sludge scene evolves. From Buzzov•en to Laudanum over Grief, Corrupted, Aldebaran and so on. Some dip their sludgy crunchy parts in the more quiet pond of Post-Rock, some use electro effects, some stretch the bayou horizon to Funeral Doom landscapes. Laudanum is a Sludge band of that kind, a post-modern Metal band that succeeds in grafting industrial outgrowths to their solid and dark Sludge tree.

'The Coronation' all begins quietly, gently droning vibrations, round bass; the mood is ominous, something is going to happen. An anxiety. Then a burst of anger. All comes abruptly. Female eructations, male growls. Like a hateful ritual.

The album is systematically structured: an ambient part, a sludgy part: that type of songwriting is quite unconventional within the genre and one can say that Laudanum has as much to do with dark industrial droning ambient as with Sludge Doom; which one would be the excuse for the other? Hey! Wrong question! Each distinct component serves the other and broadens its perspectives. It’s indeed the movements of those wave of accelerations/anger and slow-downs/meditation that shape the unusual features of Laudanum: it's a rollercoaster. A slow and frightening rollercoaster.

It is sometimes insistent, relentless, crushing, vibrating. The thing that underlines this weird transgenic plant is an incredible tension. In every corner; from the funerary rhythm of some guitar lines, to a female liturgical chant that runs backwards (an effect that I already heard elsewhere, in Comatose Vigil's 'Not A Gleam Of Hope' I'm sure), to mechanical grating, to almost Japanese minimalist atmospheres. Laudanum resorts to many layers that pile upon each other, drawing an unstable, deep, fascinating and fragile path through unknown lands.

'The Coronation' is a good surprise. If you knew the band from their first album, 'The Apotheker', forget everything. This has more to do with Halo Manash meets Graves at Sea. What an excellent idea. You’ll see they have plenty of things to share!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Procession
2. Invoke
3. In Obscura
4. Wooden Horse
5. Autumn Ghosts
6. The Last Sleep
7. Apotheosis

Duration : Approx. 49 minutes.

Visit the Laudanum bandpage.

Reviewed on 18-10-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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