Hailing from the US, Doldrum makes their debut with their latest full length, The Knocking, Or The Story of the Sound that Preceded Their Disappearance is a phenomenal example of text book USBM. Made up from the pair who brought us Gallows and an extra member providing the guitars and bass, it is a gothic affair, as to be expected. The band took heavy inspiration from old American supernatural folk lore, a unique take that is executed very well.
The album sounds crisp all around. Jangly guitars and bass, punchy drums, and heavy melodic riffs that weave through and add to the story being told through out. The concept of the album is heavily inspired from a book that was published in 1895 titled Etidorhpa, or, the end of the earth: the strange history of a mysterious being and the account of a remarkable journey. A great read if you’re into strange borderline psychedelic stories from the 19th century. Besides that, the music at hand is phenomenal. Really pushing the emotion of the story all through out, as of course the lyrics are hard to hear as the hellish vocals, recognizable from Gallows, are barked out in pain and anguish. A perfect fit for the sounds at hand. My favorite track was easily the third track titled The Abduction. Starting abruptly, forcefully pulling the listener into its dark hole, its a great pick me up from the ambient outro of the track before. What gets me about this track is towards the end of the track, it breaks down into a short ambient section which is then broken up by a great bass riff, howls, and precise blast beats that really get me excited. A great memorable moment from the album indeed.
This isn’t a typical black metal sound, really experimenting with the formula and adding unique melodies and sporting a cleaner production. While many of the notable elements are there, its done in a way that makes it feel rather punkish at times, pushing the boundaries of the genre with out compromising the fundamentals of what made it appealing in the first place. Its not a heavy album by any means, rather laid back and easy listening mainly thanks to the style of production at hand. Doesn’t require you to really give it your full attention and is great to get lost within its melodies and stories. A strong debut all around and something I’m looking forward to following in the future.