Blackened Souls

If you simply cannot wait to get your hands on Crowbar’s impending Symmetry in Black,  need another Neurosis album now, or if you enjoyed the second under the radar excellence from Finnish doom sludgster’s Lurk, Kaldera, or was underwhelmed by last years Morne effort, Shadows (as I was…)then the debut album from France’s Oruga (or larva) is for you.

Thick, dark, doomy sludge is the order of the day throughout the album’s 6 fairly long tracks all rendered with a hefty fuzzed out tone and requisite stylistic aura.  Blackened Souls is hardly a world beater but it is a solid, heavy listen and one track in particular redeems the albums fairly standard quality.

I hate to make a review about one song, but sometimes a song is worth it and in this case it’s the third track “Dead Among the Living”. Hitting that perfect sludge/doom sweet spot that the likes of say, Crowbar’s “Decemeber Spawn” or Morne’s “Volition” hit so perfectly, the track’s swaying, loping, down-tuned emotional main riff is just fucking perfect and the track’s ten minute duration renders a few clean vocals and acoustics to litter that perfect main riff with some variety. It’s the kind of track,  like the aforementioned two tracks,  that will end up on compilations and mixes I make for years to come.

Not that the other 5 tracks are chopped liver, but I don’t come back to them as I do “Dead Among the Living”. They are full of plenty of crumbling feedback laced heft with a slight melancholic smear and gruff bellows. But the first two tracks ‘Heretics” and “We, the Darkness” do nothing to separate from each other and the other side of “Dead Among the Living” sees “Disciples” offer a steady 8 minute rumble and emotive climax while “Cursed” has a pretty cool mid song moody acoustic break.

The album ends with “The Ghosts of Anneliesse” a moody slow burner with the albums most post rock hues, complete with some semi singing thrown into the mix that softens Oruga a little. Still, the band isn’t quite elite yet, but  Blackened Souls is worth it for “Dead Among the Living” alone and then some decent doom sludge as an added bonus.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 18th, 2014


  1. Commented by: Brad

    Alright…cool…this sounds promising…omg those vocals! Turn it off! Turn it off!!

    Guess I’ll keep waiting for Bongripper’s new one…

  2. Commented by: Overman

    I really enjoy this, albeit the vocals need tweaking.

    No Rx nerd glasses in metal media. Thought that was a rule.

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