In terms of immersion, you have to hand it to Raum Kingdom.
If nothing else, they are seriously inside of and a part of the music they make.
Their churning, reverbed, post-‘Through Silver In Blood’ vibe is one hell of a wash.
But two simple questions always arise with this style.
How different are the tracks from each other?
And – how different are the band from the other bands that do this?
In Raum Kingdom’s case the answer, despite the very high quality of the playing and production, is not quite enough, musically.
The pulse of ‘Dig’ reaches a satisfying throb late on, and indeed the minor key delays of ‘Winter’ do hit toward a latent darkness that could be better teased out.
For me though its just that the sung vocals just dont have enough direction or purpose over and above ‘woooah’s and ‘ooooh’s.
Each track just seems a bit timid to me, which is perhaps at odds with the crush they’re able to summon – but I hear a certain reluctance to commit, either to a driving and momentous riff, or indeed to a vocal with a message.
It seems that its easier and less revealing to dwell in jammish desultory workouts, that while perfectly competent and broadly atmospheric, just dont quite say anything.
Which may strike you as an odd way to critique the band, and I sympathise, because on many levels there’s a lot to commend in what they do.
But I just hear seven extremely similar tracks that dont really go anywhere, and I suppose that’s what it comes down to. What variety there is in beats and tones is nugatory.
Too harsh? Maybe – but greater diversification is sorely needed. I really, really liked the debut, but this does feel treading water a bit.
– Earl Grey ::: 09/07/18