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(28:19; [addicted label] / Bad Road Records / Voron Nest)
TRACK LIST: 1. Heavy State 5:08 2. Weird Things 7:42 3. Tripping Deep 9:45 4. Hexadecimal Unified Insanity 5:44 LINEUP: Stas Vasilev - guitars, vocals, synths Anton Khmelevsky - guitars Danya Kornev - drums Kirill Grushkin - bass with: Tanya Shabanova - Therminvox
Prolusion. Russian band PRESSOR was officially formed in 2010, following a couple of initial years under another name. I understand they have been an active live band ever since they started out, and as recording artists they have one split album and two EPs to their name. "Weird Things" is the most recent of the latter ones, and was jointly released by the labels Bad Road Records, Voron NEST and the Addicted Label in 2018.
Analysis. Not too many seconds into this EP, or mini-album as I'd choose to describe it myself, you pretty know what this production will be all about. Dark, booming, majestic and twisted bass and guitar riffs that cannot be described without using the term doom metal kicks in just a wee bit after a more effects laden opening. And this album just continues on from there, pretty much staying in the same vein, with the most major difference between the opening track and the rest of this production being the vocals introduced from the second track and onward. The songs obviously have their individual differences, that fans of this type of music in particular will easily hear and appreciate, but as an album experience doom metal is what this is all about. Or perhaps sludge metal, as this variety of doom metal apparently has merited a specific moniker at some point. Be that as it may be, what dominated this album through and through are the booming bass and the booming, twisted guitar sounds, complemented with heavy set rhythms and dramatic impact moments. The vocals, when they appear, are shouted and aggressive in style, adding a wee bit of a hardcore presence to the proceedings and obviously emphasizing the aggression of it all. That being said, this isn't a raw and aggressive albums as such, as the overall sound and atmosphere has more of a filthy texture to it. Dark, dirty and grimy, like the loincloth of Conan the Barbarian following a long, tiresome and elongated battle. The music has that filthy and primal, raw feel to it. Filled with sweat, blood and perhaps an inkling too much of testosterone at times. What manages to elevate this album from merely being a well made, primal example of doom metal is the use of some additional sounds and mixing choices. As far as the latter goes, opting to place some melodic guitar overlays as a distant presence in the mix creates something of a mystical, subtle vibe that contrasts the otherwise primitive nature of this beast. This is emphasized by the subtle use of keyboards and effects, that in addition also adds something of a cosmic vibe to the proceedings. Which in terms of mood and atmosphere, in my view at least, adds a slight Lovecraftian spirit to the proceedings.
Conclusion. Pressor is a band that I'd describe as pretty much an album made in a similar tradition to Electric Wizard's classic production "Dopethrone". While these are different beasts on many levels, some of the mix and production choices are rather similar in scope and effect which also created a similar kind of mood and atmosphere, even if their take on doom metal and sludge metal isn't as similar as those without a special interest in these genres would suspect. That being said, I'd also suggest that those who like and enjoy the aforementioned classic doom metal album might want to lend an ear or two to this one as well. I suspect there should be plenty of crossover appeal at hand here.
Progmessor: October 13th 2019
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