Saturday, 28 May 2016

BELDAM - Still the Wretched linger

Beldam is from Charlottesville, Virginia

Grahm Reynolds - Guitars
Addison Dodds - Bass
Cullen Wade - Drums
Randall Guidry - Vocals

What the Label says

"Horror Pain Gore Death Productions welcome Doom/Sludge titans Beldam to the roster with their pummeling debut album "Still The Wretched Linger"! Beldam hail from central Virgina and play skull crushing, soul wrenching, depression-ridden misanthropic Sludge with blackened touches. Influenced by the likes of Sleep, EyeHateGod, Graves At Sea, The Melvins and Black Sabbath, Beldam combine primordial buzzsaw guitar, massive low end bass, earth shattering drums and intense vocals featuring lyrics which invoke death and despair. "Still The Wretched Linger" is a relentless record, bulldozing through 40+ minutes of pure desolation! For fans of Bongzilla, Brainoil, Coffins, Conan, Crowbar, Dopethrone, Grief, High On Fire, Indian, Neurosis, Noothgrush, Om, Orange Goblin, Order Of The Owl, Pelican, Primitive Man, Pungent Stench, Rwake, Soilent Green, Sourvein, Thou, Ufomammut, Weedeater and Zoroaster"

It's no surprise to me that Beldam has been snapped up by a major label of the underground music scene, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, as I was blown away by their self titled demo from last year and quickly spread it around amongst my compatriots in the blogging/internet radio scene. There was just something about it that ticked all the boxes and made me think "This band is here to stay"

..And so we have 'Still the Wretched Linger' which has confirmed my assumption that Beldam can gatecrash the higher echelons of the sludgy, doom death genre.

With 'Still the Wretched Linger' Beldam has planted itself firmly on the darker side of the doom death path. Each track carries the cloying scent of mould, and there is a general pall of decay hanging off every word and every chord. This is helped immensely by the vocals at the time of Stanley Stepanic who 'croaks' like a Victorian villain just about to cut your throat. Although slow is the name of the game here, there is a surprising crunch to the guitars of Grahm Reynolds, particularly on tracks such as 'The Foundling' which is aided and abetted by the pounding rhythm section of Dodds and Wade, and indeed, Beldam should be commended for how 'together' the band sounds in churning out riffs of despondency throughout the album.

Doom death bands, more often than not, invoke scenes of bats flittering around dark castle towers, silhouetted against an angry black sky. Beldam however, summons images far beneath the surface, images of cellars and dungeons, smothered in the lingering scent of despair.