Nuking Your Brain From Orbit !
Review by a new contributor, please welcome Nick alias Mr. Slab Riffjaw from the UK in the team!
Have you ever stuck your tongue in a live electric socket? Maybe you did once, discovered it wasn’t for you and moved on with your life. Then a mate gets you drunk and suggests giving it another try. You know, for old-times-sake.
No? Just me then.
Well, whilst we’re being honest, that’s my relationship with droning, sludge-y, doom. It’s not my usual bag. I nod off at those gigs or start admiring the ceiling, sorry. Then something like this comes sliding down the pipe and nukes your prejudice from orbit.
‘Strike 1’ is the first release from France’s Lyon-based Atomic Trip…it’s only two tracks long…it lasts just shy of 40 minutes…and it totally blindsided this particular fan. ‘Atomic Trip’ are perfectly named…this isn’t doom/sludge that dwells on how depressed it is…this is doom on the hunt for worlds to obliterate.
How is the sound ?
On first listen this is the noise of watching nuclear warhead after nuclear warhead detonating across a landscape of war-torn savagery on a cinema screen inside your eyelids. This is filmic doom…a scene you cannot turn away from.
We’re talking the rippling war-horns of titans…smoke from a thousand pyres dusting across the sun…a looping image of the face-melting scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark…this is a Mad Max 10-tonne truck bottling down a highway battering everything from its path as the brakes fail…all carried by a rich and delicious harmonic depth to the guitars, something that rewards repeat listening for the little intricacies that raise it up above the masses, and leaves you with a mild addiction that needs satiating every few days.
Each resonating chord is literally hammered out and left ringing over a bed of resonating bass and…oh look, if I described the ingredients you’d think this was a Conan/Monolord cover band without vocals. And you’d not be far off, but this has a trippiness neither of those bands has yet harnessed with their heavy but catchy edge, touching on that Yob spiritual edge that Mike and co bring to their mountainous riff-fests. Yes, this is oppressively repetitive but somehow simultaneously uplifting and inspiring in its unapologetic blending of drone, doom and trance-inducing heavy psych…this is a pure and simple celebration of the utter power of the riff.
Now, be warned, this is not for everyone…this isn’t a ‘beer-from-the-bar-tap’ record. If this were a tasty beverage it would be stored in a stone bottle in its own locked fridge at the back of the bar…a triple brewed stout, molasses sweet, with a depth of character that takes time to savor…and ethanol laced to give you that little buzz with every taste. And you know it will mess you up. It’s a trip you should take at least once…a day. Looking forward to Strike 2!
Why is this album worth listening ?
- Massive, meteor-like, extinction scale impact…with melodic undercurrents
- A production job so powerful it feels like your teeth are coming loose (if they don’t you need to turn it up)
- A fantastic sweet-and-sour combo of slow as a dead-badger instrumentals, harmonically saturated sonics and filmic atmosphere that is a cathartic 40 minutes
- It restored my faith in the slower end of the doom scale again…
In what situation you should listen to this album ?
Atomic Trip is an experience you either embrace at full volume or save for the occasion that you feel the need for magma temperature rivers of audio treacle in your ears. This is a sound for those solo moments of contemplation…or in a room of friends so hot-boxed you can’t see your own nipples.
For Fans Of
Yob, Monolord, Conan, Slomatics, Ahab, Swans, SunnO))), Hooded Menace
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