PINKISH BLACK - Bottom Of The Morning

Pinkish Black - Bottom Of The Morning

7 songs
39:00 minutes
***** ***


In 2005, The Great Tyrant was founded in Texas. This doom jazz trio set out to redefine the boundaries of doom metal and jazz, but just before they released their first album, the band lost their bassist under tragic circumstances in 2010. The two surviving members decided to continue as a duo, under the new name Pinkish Black. Their eponymous debut album was self-released that very same year, and in 2013 the follow-up Razed To The Ground came out on Century Media. Since then the duo signed to Relapse Records and is now back with its third record Bottom Of The Morning.

The bandís label history might let you expect a metal band, but their choice of instruments goes into a very different direction. The drummer also plays keyboards, while the vocalist is also in charge of keyboards, synthesizers and mellotrons. No guitars or bass guitars have been used. Donít expect any new wave synth pop though, because Pinkish Black sure know how to mistreat their instruments. One synthesizer is in charge of the majestically grumbling bass notes, while the other one is usually distorted to hitherto unknown extremes, making you forget that this is not your typical rock act. At times there are strange sounding synth leads, possibly mid-range squarewaves with enough effects to give them the necessary amount of melody, but my knownload of sound synthesis doesnít go that far to give you a scientific explanation.

What I know is that Pinkish Black sound dark and sometimes even catchy at the same time. The mellotrons offer a certain Seventies gravitas, and the opener, middle track and closer come with guest musicians on trumpet, trombone and violin that add even more grandeur to the music. Basically the feeling is one of doomy psychedelic rock with quite a trippy vibe. The vocals are most of the time subdued, but when they are at their most melodic, as on the nine minute long title track, they draw parallels to good, old Mike Patton.

It is nice to learn that Relapse Records have now also released the recordings of The Great Tyrant, the predecessors to Pinkish Black. While that trio had a strange darkness not unlike Gallon Drunk to their sound, Pinkish Black are in quite an astonishing way more accessible, but in a good way. Bottom Of The Morning is at no moment flirting with commercial pop appeal, yet Pinkish Black always come at the right moment with a surprising melody that makes their new album a really endearing if somewhat short experience. Imagine proto-electronica slowly turned through the meatgrinder, or maybe Zombi caught in searing lava, and you get a somewhat impression of what to expect. But do expect something quite charming and actually original in its very own way.

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