If after the producing The Beatles ‘68 spearheading Helter Skelter, hailed as the first ever metal song, Phil Spector would have focused his talents on producing even more trailblazing metal instead of dressing up as Yngwie Malmsteen and pointing firearms at women, his oft-lauded spectacular Wall of Sound might have culminated to something along the lines of how Dirge sound today.
Dirge have spent just over two decades shaping out soundscapes that draw equally from doom, sludge and industrial metal and are right now one of the most important bands in post-metal.
From the clutch of opener ‘Wingless Multitudes’ Dirge envelopes us neck deep in a creeping cacophony of ominous ambiance, a ferocious fuzz n’ sludge chug-fest that swings, spirals and careers from cold-as-ice and dark-as-death to uplifting rich layers that are as hauntingly harmonious as they are beautifully brutal. There are only seven tracks on this album, each so long that you can actually see yourself grow older if you stare into a mirror while listening to it, a good thing for fans.
The band emphasizes their style through a pristine production with a pummeling plod-and-trod-along percussion style, bludgeoning layered guitar riffs and deep inviolable bass interjected with an excellent centering between clean, caustic and dramatic droning vocal delivery. This is not music for headbanging but music for contemplation. Existential subject matter, melancholy monastic chants, epical ethereal moments of clarity.
Dirge are masters of atmosphere and deliver emotion in overdose. Some people pick out music they want played at their own funeral, but this, this is pre-funeral music. A slow-burning soundtrack to your own suicide.
Review by Harley Gough
1. Wingless Multitudes
2. Hosea 8:7
3. Algid Troy
4. The Burden Of Almost
5. Lost Empyrean
6. A Sea Of Light