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Chrch : Light Will Consume Us All

Chrch deliver a spiritual and cathartic exercise in how to blend Sludge and Funeral with feeling and purpose.

Evocative, Visionary, Mesmerizing, Attuned, Sacred: these preceding words are conjured upon taking the plunge into the sophomore, three track release 'Light Will Consume Us All' by Chrch. Fittingly, the band now reside with Neurot Recordings, and this release does much to join them to their Neurosis elders. It's hard to believe that Chrch have only been together since 2013 for they sound like they've been playing together for much longer than five years. Hailing from Sacramento, California, the band have managed to leave their mark on the Doom scene opening their career up to endless possibilities. Chrch have truly managed to control and calculatingly employ varied dynamics throughout the recording, leading the listener along a path devoid of destination, for it is the journey that really counts. They prove it.

The album opens with its longest track, 'Infinite,' one that truly spans the range of the band's sonic delivery. Opening with an extremely slow build-up and repetition of the same riff, gradually vocal harmonies combine with erratic drumming building up an abundance of anticipation. When the band finally does come in together, they launch into an Eyehategod-like noisy/fuzzed-out, crushing delivery with nasty female vocals blending with feedback and distortion bliss. The listener becomes trapped in a void of reality watching pulses of music swell and echo throughout while new harmonies are methodically and spiritually added on top convincing one how pure music can be. Chrch emphatically show that music is based upon finite principles as a key to infinite possibility. It is a fitting opening to the album for it paints the virgin canvas with broad strokes of defined meditative motifs. The next two tracks retain the contemplative, combustible approach of the first yet flirt more with heavier exercises. Perhaps the most sublime moment on the album is at 3:08 of the second song, 'Portals,' where guttural growls and screams are married giving way to a jaw-dropping moment of haunting psychedelic vocals over a simple pensive riff. The song is properly titled for it is a gateway leading deeper into the intent of the band and their sacred delivery.

Instrumentally, the guitar ranges from delicate, angelic musings to girth-filled megalodon chords to razor blade swaths at the listener's skin with each chord slicing with varying degrees. Rhythmically, the bass and drums take note from masters like Geezer Butler and Bill Ward as they form the solid ground from which larger ideas spring forth yet also exhibit their own mammoth indulgences moving the music and enlarging it. Often, the guitar will play a long, sustaining chord and underneath the bass will just play four notes or so sublimely making its presence known, felt, and adding character to the song in a way that only the low-end dwelling four string monster can. Singer Eva Rose has a voice that ranges from angelic to demonic, able to properly decorate the dark, indulgent riffs with her unique gift. The band packs the punch of some of the most crushing Doom/Sludge acts around, but having Eva gives them an advantage and secret weapon enabling them to create Doom with feeling and purpose. Their other-worldly invocations strongly lend a hand to the listener to cross the void.

Chrch are on their way to mastering their art like YOB, Sleep, and Electric Wizard with their ability to use feedback to their advantage, effectively creating music over music. Harmonics resonate throughout the recording and at times long after listening. The music seeps under the skin like an itch that is just out of reach, and in the mind the battle is fought trying to avoid the urge to voraciously scratch it like some kind of psychedelic junkie. The dynamics of the music, the ebb and flow of the five members, give the listener the feeling of being in a loud, feedback-plagued, cramped rehearsal space while the band, all seemingly under the influence of the same psychotropic substance, exercise their deft ability to psychically tell where the music is collectively headed and adjust accordingly. To have a bond like that between band members does not happen often, and Chrch generously pass along their gift to the listener extending the psychic connection and forming a bond throughout. This is a spiritual exercise thankfully shared, long-lasting, and above all, cathartic.

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Infinite
2. Portals
3. Aether

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Chrch bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-05-07 by Chris Hawkins
Rotten Copper
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