Saturday, January 25, 2014

Murder Cafe/Earth Burnt Black: Desperate (2013)

When something is billed in my email as "the most interesting split EP of the year", I am fairly skeptical.  And with good reason, I am a cynic after all.  This is a short, five-song split that was sent to me by To the Head Records, a small label out of Colorado.  Here we have two bands, neither of whom I had heard before.  So this should be fun.

First up is Murder Cafe, a band from Grand Junction, Colorado.  Grand Junction has some really bad associations for me.  If this were more of a personal blog, I would share my reasons.  It isn't, so I won't, but know that I cringe a little with the mention of that town.  Murder Cafe is kind of an interesting doom metal band.  The bass and drum rhythms are not really typical for metal.  It sounds jazzier than is typical for metal.  The songs are kind of a strange take on metal in general, with some spoken word vocals at times, and the ever-present bass riffs driving everything.  The intro track is a complete waste of a minute and a half.  This side of the split is just very strange.  I am not sure what to think of this band.

Next, we have Greeley's Earth Burnt Black.  This band is heavy.  But the first song is ridiculously slow and does not really do much of anything other than feature power chords and screaming.   The second track is a little bit more conventional, and certainly a lot more interesting in that there is actually some progression and semblance to an actual song, rather than some random rhythmic strumming and singing.  It is definitely the best track on the album, but that is not really saying an awful lot here.

This might be grower material.  Both of these bands are taking somewhat unorthodox takes on doom metal.  On initial listens, it is not terribly impressive, but if you asked me after repeated listens, perhaps my mind will change.  Or perhaps not.

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