Avoid the Light
Formed from the ashes of a previous entity, Coca&Margot, Italian “sludgecore”/stoner metal band Throne quickly releases their debut full length album Avoid the Light on the very same year that they were formed, unleashing their form of twisted, sludge/stoner metal to the unsuspecting masses.
True to the album title, the music on Avoid the Light is for the most part extremely dark and heavy, yet like conventional sludge/stoner releases, the band does not forget to include the element of grooviness in their music, ensuring an album that is at once crushing, yet catchy as hell. Opening track Prefer to Die quickly sucks all light and hope out of the listener with the doom pace that the band travels at, and vocalist Samu’s growls sound all the more tortured and desperate at the same time against the backdrop of calmness. But this is just to warm the listener up for the real onslaught later, as things start to progressively get heavier, first with the haunting lead guitar lines, then with each of the rhythm instruments starting to get denser, and denser, and with each passing moment of Avoid the Light, the listener starts to feel more suffocated.
The heavy bass presence throughout the album easily brings to mind bands such as Church of Misery, with the fusion of heavy, crushing goodness and the rather strong groove that lasts throughout most of the album. Yet this is contrasted with the shouting/growling vocals of Samu, giving the album a slight punkish touch, along with the quick alternating between fast and slow segments on the album. For instance, Buried Alive starts off with a riff sounding like a heavier Spiritual Beggars, but quickly breaks down into a simpler, fast-paced segment complete with an almost punk-styled drumming by Dugo. There are even moments where the band infuses some thrashy elements, like on 3 Days of Rain, with the riff bearing some semblance to Metallica‘s Frantic (not their most glorious moment, but still…).
With Throne‘s Avoid the Light being one of my first forays into stoner/sludge territory, it has definitely gotten me hooked, with the nice fusion of darkness and heaviness of stoner/doom metal, and the somewhat more energetic side of sludge.