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Highgate : Highgate

On August 6th, 1945, the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atom bomb nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ over the tiny industrial city of Hiroshima. 166,000 perished. Most souls were vaporized instantly and two days later, American troops did it again. Highgate’s self-titled debut commences with a deafening clash of guitars and drums reminiscent of Little Boy’s explosion, and the following 53 minutes are the soundtrack of the nuclear fall-out.

I sat in my car and popped in the CD. Before the music scared the shit out of the other people in the parking lot, I looked at the insert: men in gas masks with chain guns and a two-page spread of dead bodies scattered in a field, apparently victims of war.

I immediately knew what I was in for.

Highgate takes you to places like this one. You’ll travel through an abandoned city deserted before the nuclear winter. Nothing stirs but tiny rodents. Wind blows ash from rubble over the dusty skeletons that lie on the streets. Chaos, anger, and Doom. There’s also a sense of mourning here like innocent victims are screaming their stories, crying out for loved ones burning, and walking the desolate landscape looking for survivors. The vocals sound like shouts of horror echoed by someone who’s just witnessed the destruction of an entire city.

Highgate’s first release is one track that clocks in just under an hour, but there are nice transitions accompanied by dissonant noise that makes you feel as if you’re fading into the next song. Highgate doesn’t put themselves into a trap like other Doom bands by continuing for twenty minutes without transforming themes and mood. The tail end of the track is considerably faster and stylistically different with touches of Black metal.

What’s great about this release from Highgate is that you can tell it took a lot of thought to put together. The sections of the track are so different from each other, yet they compliment each other and carry on a continuous theme: destruction, mourning, and anger. Remember: this is only one song, but it’s got multiple personalities that are bound by dissonant clips of noise that sound like air raid sirens warning people to evacuate a city ready to be ravaged by war.

Two words: Get - this. Highgate’s debut should be added to your collection. It has a limitless shelf-life. I picture myself listening to this a few years from now and still enjoying it. Add it to your collection and it will be one to show your friends. It’s unique blackened Doom. Guaranteed.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. untitled

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Highgate bandpage.

Reviewed on 16-06-2010 by Mark Breckles
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