...only to be pushed right back in by this pummeling album. This Belgian quartet has been composing intense music for quite some time now. 'Are Forever' is the follow up to 'I Ate Myself to Grow Twice as Big', which was released three years ago. Three years is a long time, so it was time to dispose another slab of worms-infested sludge doom over their audience. And for those not yet convinced: 'Are Forever' will either grind you into a pulp or shatter the last piece of sanity still left in you. Luckily for you, if you're a Melvins/Harvey Milk/Lightning Bolt fan, you will love the shit out of this.
The album opens with 'Miles Of Smiles', which comes up with a sweet girl asking you if you have ever had a dream. Shortly after, the dissonant and pulsating riffs grab you by the throat, dragging you down into the vile, haunting world of 30.000 Monkies. The easiest way to describe this music is saying it's a blend of sludge doom and noise rock, hence the references to Melvins and so on. Yet, it won't surprise you when I say that there is a lot more to this. There are eerie passages with eerie guitars, impending percussion and frightful mantras. There is the punkish violence of 'The Gift' and blackened elements in plenty of other tunes.
'The Fist Of Impending Joy' is my personal favorite. Not many sludge doom tunes remind me of the old days of symphonic black metal but this terrifying piece of work will definitely grind your nutsack, so to speak. And then there is 'And Ever', which does weird things with ambient and a drug-infused Sonic Youth jam. It serves mostly as an intro for closer 'Cluck Me Up' but it's also a bloody awesome tune. That closer, 'Cluck Me Up', is one of those sludge doom tunes that will devour entire audiences everywhere and it comes with the energy of an atomic bomb.
In all, this is not suited for people who suffer from migraine, neither for people who think it's pretty cool that Luc Appermont and Bart Kaell have been a couple for 40 years. Nope, this is the perfect shot of noisy sludge doom, intended to wreck and ruin everything in its path. If you are a fan of being tortured to death by grinding riffs, violent vocals and methodical drums, you need this album. Damn, it feels good to be writing again...