Another day, another fantastic band from Australia. This time around, we have the excellently named Slowly Building Weapons and their fever-like brand of experimental doom, blending the more tripped out elements of shoegaze with some heavier flavors. Their next release, ECHOS, is scheduled for release on tomorrow and sees the band explore an even more essential and purified version of their sound. This is achieved, as is often the case with this style of music, in contrast, pitting the darker and lighter, the quieter and louder, parts of Slowly Building Weapons’ sound against each other. “Armada of Ghosts”, the album’s opener, is a perfect example of how this works which is why it’s the perfect thing to premiere one day before the album drops. Head on down below to check it out!
From the very first riff, chainsawing its way across the mix before it is joined by the drums, you can feel the energy pulsating throughout ECHOS. It’s not a traditional doom album in that sense, since much of it either goes too fast or too slow for to fit that box exactly. Rather, these sounds drift just below black metal in their almost tremolo speed (before the drums erupt into those blast-beats and give the game away), generating that kind of diffuse feeling that often gets labelled simply as “shoegaze”. Later on, things slow down and deepen, plunging into that pool of riffs, fuzz, and unstoppable weight that’s more often associated with doom. But the oscillation continues throughout the track, and onwards into the next one, even as the guitar chords turn cavernous.
There’s always that tension there and that’s what makes ECHOS so convincing and essential. I’m happy that we left “Foal to Mare” on here, the second track from the album previously released. The transition into it from “Armada of Ghosts” is just so good, the synths picking up on those softer elements we mentioned above and bringing them to the fore of the sound. The album is full of these transitions, these back and forths between the parts that make the whole tick. Make sure you head on to the band’s Bandcamp page above and pre-order ECHOS before it drops tomorrow. You won’t regret it.