Snailking
(Storm)
2014
Crank this to 9.2 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Doom, Sludge
Sounds Like:
YOB, UFOMAMMUT, ISIS
Having named their band after a terrific Ufomammut album Snailking we were intrigued right off the bat. The Swedish based trio welcome their first full-length album entitled Storm in follow-up to their three song gem Samsara. The album is well titled as the ambient elements within the really provide for a very disturbing and inclement forecast.

Storm is about 85% doom/sludge mixed with some Post-rock and ambient elements. There in lies the special recipe with this album. Post-rock influences and ambient undertones really set this album apart from other doom masters. The harmonies and syncopation are stunning. Off-beat angles and gritty drudgery are contrasted so well with their ability to bring things down. The guitars and percussion lead the way as the vocals are intentionally left at a lower volume. The vocals ebb and flow between a hardcore grit to death metal The pace is deliberate with its doom crawling mission as we are thrust into this dark and stormy night.   

Track Listing:

1. Wonder - 11:03
2. Premonitions - 10:57
3. Slithering - 6:32
4. Requiem - 16:57
5. Void - 8:00

The opening track “Wonder” is a solid entree as the atmospheric undertones build into some very strong doom riffs and fuzz. "Wonder" does not overwhelm us but does set the stage for what is only up to come. "Premonitions" is fueled by heavy feedback and harrowing vocals. This track is loaded with 'outside the box' riffages and ambient subtleties. Lead singer Pontus Ottosson really hits his stride here as the lyrics and grittiness add to a very emotional tune. The listener begins to hone in on his style and at about the four and a half minute mark halts to a creep where feedback fades and soft guitar rhythms and symbol take hold. Very powerful moment on the album. Next up, "Slithering" an ISIS influenced six minute little ditty that introduces some well crafted Post-rock. The guitar melodies become even more crisp and piercing. "Slithering" almost sounds like a hidden track that was missed off of Wavering Radiant. Well done! Check-out the bellowing bass at about the 3:40 mark, man they can change things up well.

Enter "Requiem" a unique doom and sludge track that spans close to 17 minutes in length. This song brought the album over the top in Editor's pick land for us. The warm guitar entrance will grab you from the get-go and you become immersed in this whirlwind of doom, ambiance and unique progression. Their ability to not bore the listener is quite impressive. True artists of their craft with a very patient build where bass and guitar sway back and forth only making the onslaught ahead more impressive. The volume of heavy that develops is jaw dropping. The last track "Void" appears to be a bonus track as it is not on all releases. We hear elements of Electric Wizard. Solid track, but perhaps better suited for the middle of the album. "Requiem" would have been a better ending.

Snailking have catapulted their way into our top 10 favorite doom bands with the release of Storm. The vision and stamina is just shy of brilliant. Storm is a true mood-setting and influential album that really will provide pleasure to the doom metal fan for years and years to come. This will be a mainstay in our rotation even on bright sunny beautiful days.

Line-up:
Karl Wijk - Drums
Frans Levin - Bass
Pontus Ottosson - Guitar & Vocals

Standout Tracks: Requiem, Premonitions
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