Out of all the debutant bands in Ireland at the moment, there aren’t an awful lot doing what Raum Kingdom are.
That’s usually a good mark of quality in itself.
What we have here is some atmospheric, heavy and mournful post-Neurosis and Deftones brood metal which leans very, very strongly toward Cult Of Luna and their ilk.
Clearly they’re going for the hypnotic and immersive, as opener ‘Wounds’ makes clear right from the opening notes. Its waterlogged sounding lead just drips atmosphere while the insistent rhythm guitars keep on grinding away at those few notes.
They sound remarkably together, and the drums are in no mood to be hurried – they set a heavy and authoritative tempo, to which every thing falls into line, and as the likes of ‘Barren Objects’ follows through you can really feel their weight.
Vocally there’s an impressive roar here, but I do think it’s one of the only points where the band have a bit more to do. The clean, Chino or MJ Keenan-ish wailing sounds very deliberately off the mark tuning wise – I know that’s a stylistic choice, given the influences – but it does result in just not quite sounding right.
It’s no big deal, and something like a bit more reverb would have even solved it, setting the clean stuff further back in the mixed. Up front and reasonably dry though, the flaws, deliberate though they probably are, sound a tad exposed.
Yet it’s a small gripe.
Raum Kingdom’s music builds to collossal weights and the thickness of their sound is incredible for a first release.
‘Cross Reference’ as well is chock full of atmosphere and despair, as well as that absolutely inspired sample from Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ that runs through it. An amazing idea, perfectly executed. The result is like something that could have been off My Dying Bride’s ‘34.788 Complete’.
It’s even better that ‘These Open Arms’ comes walloping in again to reprise the opening notes of the album.
They have an ear to composition, are into the art and purpose of what they do, and they’re heavy as a brick shit house.
There is a lot to like about this band, and if they ever get on the same bill as Zhora, who are also kind of in this style, the very sky might just fall in.
3.9 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 09/06/14