Having bulldozed their way through the British underground scene over the last two years, Conjurer‘s debut record has been fervently awaited by members of the metal community. Thankfully, the weight of such expectation isn’t remotely as heavy as the band’s mix of sludgey, progressive, post-metal. This suffocatingly intense forty-minutes marks Conjurer out as a very rare breed of band.
From the opening minutes of ‘Choke‘ alone you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the work of a band at least a decade into their career, such is their command of metal’s expansive selection of sounds. As the record unfolds they continue to traverse this musical landscape with ferocious dynamism. The listening experience is not dissimilar to walking in gale-force winds, never allowing you to take more than a few steps before the next blast knocks you to the floor.
The combined vocal assault from Dan Nightingale and Brady Deeprose adds a hint of menace to this bitter broth of heaviness. At times it sounds as though their guttural tones are bludgeoning your ear drums, other times they appear further off as though screaming across from some nightmarish realm in which the air is thick as tar.
‘Retch‘ sees the record reach peak brutality, with Jan Krause’s drums hitting like a series of rapid fists to the gut. Conjurer consistently refuse to be lumped in with any one of metal’s many subgenres. ‘Of Flesh Weaker Than Ash‘ provides a progressive, spacious counterpoint to the crushing heaviness of previous tracks. The record comes to a suitably genre-spanning close with the asphyxiating doom stomp of ‘Hadal’. An eight-minute epic that seems intent on leaving the listener battered and deafened, but undeniably satisfied.
Across eight bestial tracks Conjurer have revealed themselves to be an obscenely talented force within modern metal. It’s unfathomable that this is only a debut offering, and the prospect of this band’s future achievements is sure to have the rest of British metal running scared.