SOOM - Djebars

Soom - Djebars

10 songs
74:20 minutes
***** **
noname666 / Robustfellow


Ukrainian sludge stoner doom trio Soom doesn’t fuck around on their second longplayer Djebars. Although the titles are all in Ukrainian, a language in Cyrillic letters completely unreadable for me, the band was nice enough to provide translations for the different songs. Soom’s approach is more extreme and less song-oriented than what we are used from most other bands.

Take for instance the nearly eight-minute-long intro Above the Sequoias: Origin, an ambient piece of music with some folk elements that strangely enough, despite its length, never overstays its welcome. Instead it’s setting the mood for what is to follow. The first regular track Burned Out is an eleven-minute-long behemoth with ultra-heavy guitar and a pounding rhythm section. The vocals are rather few and in between, and once they appear, they are like gang shouts that work rather well over the brutal music. The only complaint I have here, as on every other song, is the weak drum production. The snare sounds just too hollow and piercing, and the cymbals are drowning in oversaturated noise. Most songs are separated by one-minute short interludes that are a good idea as they give the listener a moment to breathe before the next monster track is assaulting you. Under A Gleam The Dream Is Hidden makes it even over thirteen minutes and comes with a totally distorted bass guitar that sounds like early Type O Negative on an extreme doom trip. The album’s last three tracks are a trifecta of bliss. Wheelchair is a strange sludge doom piece with some folk elements, Nagno is a twelve-and-a-half-minute long beast with dark conjuring vocals and an overall hypnotic atmosphere. The concluding Panic Attack is at five and a half minutes a comparatively short piece and sounds like a doom tribute to Motörhead and the Ramones. Totally unfitting but showing that these guys are open for everything.

If you like your sludge metal slow and extreme, Soom from Kharkiv are the right band for you. There are moments of incredible excellence, and despite its generous length of seventy-four minutes, Djebars never feels too long. I’d have wished for a somewhat more professional production, especially when it comes to the drums, because I am convinced that a tighter and more focused sound would have lent these monster tracks even more punch and aggression.

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