Old Man Gloom

Old Man Gloom

"Christmas"
UK import



The official site

Old Man Gloom

http://www.pj-t.com/daymare/



previous works

Seminar II: The Holy Rites of Primitivism Regressi (US import / UK import)
Seminar III: Zozobra (US import)
Meditations in B (US import / UK import / 国内盤)

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Acting in the spirit of the season, Old Man Gloom and Daymare Recordings have joined forces to issue a special edition of Christmas to Japanese fans. Not only do we get the band's brain-melting new album, but in a move that would make even Santa proud 2003's Christmas I & II + 6 is also included.

Those expecting to hear a sampling of traditional yuletide carols are in for one hell of a surprise. Playing with enough fury and power to turn your family's over-priced Christmas cake into a creamy milkshake, the Boston, Massachusetts super-group rip their way through 13 thought-provoking tracks in just over an hour. Following in a similar vein as past works, members of Isis, Converge, and Cave In once again take listeners on an unforgettable sonic journey.

Opening with a wave of swirling sounds and acoustic guitars, "Gift" begins simply enough. A group sing along of the line "This is a gift" paves the way for the slow, pounding, thick-as-sludge instrumentation that dominates the awesome song to come in. As Aaron Turner growls his lyrics, you have to hope that this monster of a present isn't for a small child yearning to find a doll or Power Ranger under their Christmas tree as it would in all likeliness scare the piss out of them.

To further ensure this the furious "Skullstorm" and "Sleeping with Snakes" quickly follow to bludgeon ear drums with a healthy dose of holiday hardcore. Several trippy, ambient interludes provide brief relief from the barrage of gargantuan noise. "Something for the Mrs." mixes droning organ and electronic tinkerings with a 1984-esque sample of a man delivering messages in a post-apocalyptic society. Meanwhile, the completely instrumental and very unnerving "Accord-o-Matic" tries to mind-fuck anyone who may have delved into a large dose of "Christmas cheer" to help heighten the experience of the release.

Two of the disc's strongest moments come in the form of "The Volcano" and "Girth and Greed". Both deliver huge slices of angry as fuck metal, but go about it in different ways. "The Volcano" builds up from a single riff and then proceeds to take the listener on an emotional roller-coaster. The seven minute track increases in speed and ferociousness before knocking the listener out with a lead-filled stocking and making them climb the waves of blistering noise all over again. "Girth" does away with the ups and downs and instead chooses to floor people with one intense 90 second blast.

The second disc features the full Christmas I & II + 6 EP and is aptly sub-titled "Bonus disc of unsurpassed genius". The six extra cuts feature some live footage and a cover song. Considering how popular the artists the band chose to pay homage to are here the later will definitely be well regarded by the Japanese. Although they have a few minor problems getting started, once Old Man Gloom get going the "Gratuitous Bonus Track Made by Sensible Musicians Doing Questionable Things" is actually a pretty solid take on one of the early 90s most popular power-ballads.

Another solid addition to Daymare's growing catalogue, the label is doing a fine job of making some of the best foreign punk, hardcore, and metal available domestically. The expanded version of Christmas would make a perfect addition to the music collection of anyone on your shopping list who enjoys challenging, heavy music.



reviewed by shawn.
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