The debut album from Polish black/doomers Loathfinder is quite, well… it’s quite dark. A torrential downpour of thunderous doom covers your ear drums in murky ocean waters, bleak as the album’s cover itself (which is wholly fitting) and no less uninviting. A co-worker said that she felt metal music was a bit scary for her even though she was a major of fan of horror and slasher films. Well, this is the kind of album that embodies the very element of that fear – it’s grueling, particularly in the vocal element which is guided by some unexpected melodic nodes that almost ride on a tinge or two of rock. Right near the end of “Genetic Gloom” we do experience some sight shredding, which can make the band seem a bit active and perhaps less gloomy than you might expect. Even though that is most certainly not the case here. Loathfinder could implement a wild solo frenzy and still manage to capture the same thick tones of dread throughout. “Feast On My Entrails” brings on a much different vocal approach, which appears to come from an angry butcher with blood stained all over his apron, as well as some bits of fluid and perhaps a few pieces of organ matter that may have found themselves stuck to it. You know what I’m talking about here – dead, sticky human flesh. There’s even a section where galloping leads bring on a sick sense of triumph, where I begin to smile with sadistic glee. The track itself stretches almost into seven full minutes, so there is more than enough time for the band to properly experiment with different ideas within the same piece, but not tire out the listener. This is definitely due to the frontman’s wonderous display of emotion, which I hope won’t whittle down with time. This horror-influenced number feels truly bloodcurdling, which is a word I haven’t used in a long time. Even though the band are described as blackened/doom, I definitely feel the tinges of death metal as I thought I would. But I won’t complain a single bit about the hefty growls used on this piece, as they only help to bring the fear that makes this music so damn uncomfortable for some people to listen to. I would have it no other way.
“Scents Of Regression” actually does manage to pull out a solo or two amongst the obsidian muck, which here sounds even a bit sludgy (and again, no complaints) and still manages to retain the gloomy atmosphere that brought me to such a band in the first place. Maybe there’s even a little bit of classic Opeth in the riffs just behind the solo and to the left of the downtuned bits. Clearly these guys have put a great deal of work into this one. It’s just an EP, but feels like a full album in itself. The disc actually ends with the title track, which estimates to a full ten minutes of playtime. It does drone for a bit before picking up ferocity, but I feel that such a track needs that level of contemplation before the big “blast” as it builds a story behind the concept. We’ve heard “The Great Old Ones” several times of course, but what kind of Lovecraftian butchery went into “The Great Tired Ones?” Who are they? Upon reading the lyrics, I began to sense that these beings were beyond imagination and truly horrific. The song itself describes that quite well, as there is even a section in which we hear what I could only dewcribe as the utterings of several monstrous beings that may have found their way into Poland by use of a mysterious portal. The piece then become monstrously heavy, making it’s presence known while at the same time delivering a very catchy solo number. I don’t think I could have made a more terrifying album if I tried. Loathfinder is definitely an act worth watching and hopefully their talent and use of imagery will go far beyond the simple borders of their homeland. We could really be looking at something here and I won’t mince words with that.
You’re still only getting thirty minutes of music with The Great Tired Ones, but those minutes are going to feel much longer and quite a bit more vibrant than many fly by night EP’s that you might hear on a regular basis. The band literally put a full-length’s worth of effort into this sampling of their skill and they only charged a mere euro for the disc on Bandcamp. If you want a disc it will cost a little more – but you just might, because this little sampling of music will end up sticking with you long after the last note has been played, kind of like an inky black tentacle that slithers up your spine, right up to the point where it closes itself around your neck and pulls until there’s nothing left. The old ones might be tired and ready for a nap inside of an outer nebula somewhere out in the cosmos, but here on Earth I can tell you that Loathfinder have only just begun!
(4 Tracks, 27:00)