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Longhouse : II: Vanishing

A little too clean and polished to really plumb the sludgy depths it deserves, Longhouse's sophomore still has virtues.

'II: Vanishing' is the second release of Canadian Doom act Longhouse. Regrettably, I have yet to hear their debut but based on this release, itís something that Iím interested in doing to satisfy my curiosity as to how a band like this began their musical adventure. With a bit of luck, Iíd be able to purchase it rather than download it like this release because I much prefer to have a physical copy in front of me to get an idea of what the band are attempting to "say" with their music.

Longhouse play a type of Sludge/Doom on 'II: Vanishing' and for the most part, I like what I hear. Musically, thereís not much to put me off at all. I was surprised by the raspy Black Metal-esque vocals, which I am not overly accustomed to within this sub-genre, and I thought that they complemented the music well. I enjoyed the guitar solos. I thought that the drummer kept everything going well. Iím especially fond of the riffs. Iíd go as far as to say that Iíd really enjoy seeing Longhouse live.

I have just one problem with this release though, and itís a pretty big problem for an old-fashioned Sludge/Doom fan like me. To me, itís very difficult to make good Sludge/Doom with a polished production, which is what Longhouse have attempted to do on 'II: Vanishing'. I simply donít associate good production with Sludge/Doom because this type of music is supposed to be packed full of thick riffs and muddy production - the clue is in the sub-genre name! Therefore, although I totally respect the bandís choice to release the album in this way, it just doesnít work for me, which is a crying shame because I think that the band are good enough musically to make some really strong Sludge/Doom.

One other tiny gripe of mine would be the very occasional use of clean vocals. They donít suit this style of music at all to me. As intimated above, though, theyíre not prevalent so itís not a big issue.

I daresay some people would find this release "boring". Iím not one of them because musically, itís pretty good, all things considered. No, it isnít unique, and no, itís not going to decimate the Richter scale. However, taking into account the individual elements of the music, this band does have something to work with and it would be unfair to label their release as boring with that in mind. I think that their song structures are good for the Sludge/Doom sub-genre - I just wish that the production was filthier so I could enjoy it more.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Hunterís Moon
2. Vanishing
3. Blood And Stone
4. No Name, No Marker
5. The Vigil

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Longhouse bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-03-25 by Ian Morrissey
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