Angakok hails from Liège and was founded in 2010. Since then, the trio has been paving their way before they got picked up by Russian label Satanath. With thick, fuzzy guitars, slow but punishing drums, brutal vocals and a load of samples, this debut is pretty intense, as it should be. In ten songs, this trio proves their qualities as a sludge metal band by blasting their immersive drones through my speakers with sheer power and actually a lot of variation.
After a short, strange into, 'Sacrifice' immediately drags the listener down into the sloughy soil, only to let you crawl and ramble in this impressive combination of drones and noise. This song drives on simple but effective riffs which will get any sludge fan in extacy. The vocals also follow the vintage sludge tradition and often come very close to black metal screams. Furthermore, for some reason, I'm reminded of a band like Winter, and that's a huge plus.
'Collapsing' enhances the morbid atmosphere by throwing a full-blown doom metal anthem in our faces and brutally rubbing it into our veins. I can imagine this being a blast on stage. The intensity is massive and the sheer power of the song chases the sun away. I really dig the way Angakok uses vocal samples in their music. It gives the whole something extra, something impending and threatening. Not that I like to be threatened, but music often makes that feeling so awesome.
I also dig the instrumental, post-rock like, pieces, usually accompanied with vocal samples in a number of different languages. They bring a great sense of variation to the whole and enhance the bleak atmosphere. Besides, they alternate perfectly with the brutal doom songs, like the brilliant 'Samsara' which is probably one of my favorites on this album. This song goes on an on, showing absolutely no mercy on the listener. And we're not even halfway through the album yet...
In saw that Angakok is influenced by a number of different acts, including Merzbow and Lustmord (besides bands like Unsane, Melvins, Meshuggah, Isis, the Dillinger Escape Plan...- but let's focus on the noise in paragraph, shall we? I mean, after all, by now you should already know this is a great sludge/doom album). Truth is, these guys indeed make a lot of noise, at some points even nudging towards the harsh noise and thick dark ambient scene. This combination brings even more variation to the whole, and variation is always good.
So take it from me, Angakok are definitely on their way to the subtop of the Belgian sludge scene. Actually, someone should organise a festival and bring the best bands from the Flemish and the Walloon side of our little country together in one massive orgy of fuzz, doom and noise. It would be an epic event, never to be forgotten and I'm absolutely sure that this trio from Liège will be one of the highlights...