UNEARTHLY TRANCE - Stalking The Ghost
March 21, 2017, 11 months ago
New York's Unearthly Trance kick off their first full-length in seven years not with a menacing slow-motion sludge/doom track like you might expect, but with a relatively upbeat near-stoner rock tune (“Into The Spiral”), one that recalls Monster Magnet more than it does Grief, which is a bit jarring. No need for concern, though: second song “Dream State Arsenal” is six and a half minutes of agonizingly slow sludge/doom, the kind of stuff you remember Unearthly Trance doing, and doing well.
“Scythe” is one of the band's finest moments yet, the spare, expansive riffs and crashing drums commandeering the sludge right into a classic Sabbatherian doom, while “Lion Strength” is another shining point in the band's catalogue, with an Electric Wizard-esque ability to lay down perfect mid-tempo, ultra-heavy sludge/doom/stoner metal, not to mention the big Neurosis influence that shines through here. “Invisible Butchery” is about as heavy as sludge can possibly get, bringing the listener into the final third here with power; “The Great Cauldron”'s usage of melody and structure is top notch. The competition is stiff, but Unearthly Trance are one of the better sludge/doom bands out there today, and this cool album proves it.