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AlgomA : Reclaimed By The Forest

A thunderous and yet satisfyingly cathartic debut from Canadians Algoma.

AlgomA are one of the lesser known bands but upon acquaintance, you wouldn't want to stop spinning their infectious tunes unto oblivion. While Doom/Sludge bands are many, AlgomA from Canada have this relentless quality in their music, the trudging kind, with tons of emotions buried in their layers of obese heaviness. It's an album that grows on you each song is different in the direction it takes but yet the goal is the same. Nothing is drastically different but the shift from one song to another is palpable and visceral. It seems like an onward march to conquering unknown lands and countries, without declaring an all-out war. It's sheer force with subtle mind games and politics in the way you perceive it. Masters Corrupted come to mind, so does the oppressive heaviness of Fistula, also the agonizing expression of Indian, mingled with the impermeable sound of Electric Wizard and Grief, lastly coated with the tarry tunes of Eyehategod. It's solid as walls, slowly caving in on you and your entire hapless tribe.

The artwork is a perfect depiction of the album theme, done by none other than Adam Geyer. The layout is beautiful as well. It's thanks to the label owner Jill Girardi and her previous experience with Razorback Records that a special interest is given to such artists and quality of packaging. The album's production is immense and sends shocks down your fragile spine. The expression seems complete. You have the deafening, ponderous doom/sludge, reminiscent of The Whorehouse Massacre in this regard, although the band is not dabbling in the drone/atmospheric territory or doing anything out of the ordinary. But the band doesn't need to. AlgomA are damn good at what they are doing and they are not leaving anything to be desired or to your imagination. The heaviness is satisfying to your soul, a salve after the oppression of mundane life. The grooves are present but they're not luring you to the dance floor; they're just enough to have your head bobbing in a drunken rhythm, punctuated by weak attempts by you to match the angst-ridden vocals of Kevin Campbell and Darby Wiigwaas. Without the vocals of this kind, AlgomA's music would be susceptible to falling flat but the shouts and almost drunken-sounding frustrated wails keep the momentum going and the anger confined within the clenched fists throughout the duration of 'Reclaimed by the Forest'. It's a different kind of catharsis of the practical kind. Yet, it's therapeutic. Salve to the soul, as I said.

As the album draws to a close, a weight feels lifted from your head. There seems to be a conclusion, somehow. Like life and its lessons, these six songs are punishing in their own way, from the brief intro-laden initial songs to the shorter ones in the middle, and finally, ending the album with an epic 11-minute closer titled 'Extinct Volcanoes'. You feel purged. I have always liked my music to be more impactful and despite not being as melancholic as other forms of doom, this one is devastating in its own way and for that I am grateful. It's the itch in your dark underbelly getting a rub. You wake up relieved, exhausted and pampered. A gruelling mission is over, apparently. And it was worth it. Thunderous.

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Bedsores
2. Fell Down a Well
3. Reclaimed by the Forest
4. Tertiary Syphilis
5. Go On, Git!
6. Extinct Volcanoes

Duration : Approx. 42 minutes

Visit the AlgomA bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-04-24 by Kunal Choksi
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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