Sometimes, you just need something nasty and slow in your life. As winter has finally made its appearance here in Israel, I’ve been looking for that certain crushing something. Lo and behold, Geomancer are here to give me a hand. These guys are from Northern England and, if you’ve been keeping track for the past year or so, this should give you a good idea into the type of dirty metal they make. Their Khatt Al-Raml (“sand cutting”, a technique very much prominent in Middle Eastern mysticism and geomancy) is just shy of an hour and packed back to back with monstrously heavy riffs and a good sense for groove, melding funereal doom, stoner metal and just plain stank into one crushing whole. And it was released a week ago, which makes it perfect for a post. So here we are! Head on down below for your first taste of what Geomancer can do.
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I chose “Greed” as the track to highlight because it was the track to restore my faith in the album. The first two tracks were great but “Visions”, a droning interlude without much meat to it, kind of turned me off, initially. It’s grown on me since but is still the major miss on the album; there’s not enough going on to justify it. But “Greed” is the polar opposite of that; the track has the staple funereal doom chords to it, with distortion turned way up to create the kind of swagger I love that’s dominated Northern England’s sound for a while now. It also has an immensely pleasing groovy break in the middle and a satisfying return to the crushing heaviness at its end, adorned with as much feedback as any one person needs which is to say, fucking a lot.
The vocals are as they are on the rest of the album; the super deep approach of bands like Ahab has been abandoned for something closer in nature to screams, injecting the vocals with much needed thrust. Splash a few psychedelic, Middle East influenced leads on the last track and you have this album. The end result is an album that makes you make that face, the one you make when you listen to an especially powerful riff, pretty much for its entire run-time. For a debut and for just a regular album as well, Khatt Al-Raml is one impressive piece of work, sure to scratch your evil itch quite well. Play it loud, play it often.