Archon
The Ruins at Dusk

The Ruins at Dusk is wholesale riff worship. Archon main man Andrew Jude and his cadre of guests construct towering monoliths, layering slow rolling riffs upon waves of ritualistic drums. The four tracks, spanning nearly 60 minutes, expand on traditionally slow moving sludge/doom with some classic rock wah abuse and psychedelia to produce some truly standout heavy tunes.

“Helena (Ruins at Dusk)” begins with some heavy crush and gradually brings on thicker and thicker waves of wah and harsh vocal roars. They pull back around the seven minute mark, only to build the riff back up in an immense wall of psychedelic doom. It’s a mood setter. The simple structure, the density and riffing of the climax, prime your ears for the more varied “Nature is Satan’s Church”. Opening at a slightly brisker pace, they dive headlong into a morass of steady, churning riffs, layers of clean female vocals and hearty roars, and the now ubiquitous wah pedal.

They draw back to a more basic two-movement approach for “The Hymn of Medrengard”, using a couple of basic riffs to uncoil mind melting solos and acidic vocals. They conclude with the 20+ minute “The Fate of the Gods (Parts I and II)”, a spacious, swirling and superbly crushing force of leaden doom. It starts bluesy and slowly adds more  heavy to the equation until it bursts in scattering rays of psychedelia and the drift of Subarachnoid Space.

The album plods along at a sludgy crawl but retains dynamic motion. They’re always adjusting, building, adding to the riffs to keep the songs eminently listenable. I haven’t heard a wah pedal pummeled this heavily or smartly in a long time. The density and cohesion of their sound is tremendous and there are a lot of little things to pick up on subsequent listens, particularly with headphones (the panning on the vocals on “Nature is Satan’s Church”, for example). The album was recorded in collaboration with 7 musicians and the sound benefits from every last contribution. The Ruins at Dusk is thoroughly hypnotic and tremendously enjoyable.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
December 15th, 2011

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