Murder Cafe/ Earth Burnt Black
Split

Here is the first release from new Colorado based label, To The Head Records. It is a 5 track split EP from two Colorado bands in Murder Cafe and Earth Burnt Black. Both ply sort form of doom metal, which appears to be the label’s focus, but both bring something a little different to typical doom tropes.

Up first is three tracks from Grand Junction’s Murder Cafe whose take on doomy metal is much more experimental and stoner/sludgy/drony. It’s not a reach to say they sound like Cephalic Carnage is they played stoner/doom/sludge metal in a garage (not out of character Hall of Amenti doom, but bonged out, weird, off kilter doom) . Very raw, angular, atonal and unpredictable, the one intro and two songs (“Cloudy Waves of Conformity”, “Desperate Reach for the Top”)  comprise for 13 or so minutes of jarring, loping experimentation with a wide array of vocals from deep growls, hoarse shouts, shrieks and spoken words. It’s certainly different and challenging, with stuttering, twangy, unconventional take on what is usually a languid, structured style, but Murder Cafe, to their credit are doing things with a little more unpredictability and ambition. However, it does hurt them to some extent, as while original and different,  it’s sort of caught in the middle ground. It’s not a harrowing as say Drug Honkey, and never full on experimentally out there or genre bending, it just rather sits out in the this ‘weird’ outfield and I’m not sure what fan will latch onto it. It”s certainly worth a listen if you want something a little off in your doom /sludge, but is the weaker of the splits two bands.

The last 2 songs are from Greeley’s Earth Burnt Black are much more traditional, typical sludge/doom.  Pained, layered screams and growls accompany thick, crawling, caustic  riffs. First track “Singularity” is aptly titled, being a repetitive, simple, feral 4 minute number, that almost serves as an intro to the EPs best track from either band, “Prey”. It features a nice build and eventual groove that’s’ a little addictive, if simple and again, repetitious. But that’s sort of the idea with doom/sludge, isn’t it?

Neither band is going to make much of an impact outside of Colorado in my opinion, but they both offer something a little off the beaten path for doom /sludge fans and I look forward to what other ‘different’ bands  this new label an unearth.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 2nd, 2013

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