Monday, September 5, 2011

Album Review- Of Legend 'Cleric Of Samsara'

First of all , yes we know this one's been available for quite some time now.But, as hapless voyagers of time, space and the interweb, occasionally Born Again Nihilist will perceive the straits of the time-stream as being a year or two off where they should be, as we subscribe to the Dr Who mode of time travel, where time is non linear.That and we also live in a phone box.But yes, to the matter at hand.

Hailing from the hotbed of sludge metal talent that is Atlanta , Georgia, Of Legend play the kind of atmospheric , downbeat doom-tinged  post metal that suits the rainy mood of an Irish autumn perfectly, with a restrained approach to songwriting that is less about blasting the listener with endless noise, and more about creating a sense of desolation and space in their music , with some brilliantly understated riffing , and some excellent but not excessive use of effects to enhance their sonic  miasma.

Soundwise, the band invoke comparisons with , among others, the expansive explorations of Isis, but with an almost old school stoner/doom approach to some of the riffing.Listening to the morose , prowling riff that lies at the centre of album highlight 'Burial In Light' put me in mind, oddly, of some of the more downbeat work of Welsh shroom-doom kings Acrimony.There is also comparisons to be made with the tortured machinations of Swedish industro gloom kings Cult Of Luna, albeit mainly in Justin Burnham's heart rending roar, especially evident in the gorgeous 'Poseidon Swims' .Closer 'The Cleric' meanwhile breaks out of the band's sombre mould to stray into some Klone-esque groove metal territory, with a main riff that's just begging to be aired to a boozed up festival crowd in pissing rain .It should be said as well that throughout, the production is excellent, and beats the shit out of a fair few mainstream releases (cough Chimaira cough) that I've encountered this year.

'Cleric Of Samsara'  then, is a deeply impressive sophomore effort from a band with clear talent and a definite  potential to break out of the underground , and , while it doesn't quite scale the heights of some of  their peers at times, it comes damn close, rewarding repeat listens as it goes.The band are currently working on new material, along with a re release of 'Samsara', but in the meanwhile, draw the curtains, stick on some headphones and lose yourself in this slice of gloomy metallic riffola, after all, sunshine's overrated anyways . .. .

For fans of :Isis, Sleestak, People Of The Monolith, A Storm Of Light
Listen here:
Stephen O ' Connor, Born Again Nihilist(

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