Saturday, 16 January 2016

Strange Broue – Strange Broue (2015) / 84%

Canadian doom tape triptych part 2 : Québec City, QC

This self titled compilation (released on my birthday last year!) contains most of what the one man band released in about two years since the creation of the project in 2014 and it's pretty impressive. The tape (with its sides titled yes” and “no”) features ten songs and a bit less than an hour of music. It's also genre that's been lacking in the Québec metal scene for a while: thunderous doom/stoner. Sure, we have Dopethrone but they're more sludge than anything else so it feels good to have something like this.

Even if it's different tracks coming from distinct extended plays and singles, the production is pretty even and quite apt. It's a good mix of self produced lo-fi garage and total professionalism, the bass is thick and its loud presence is justifiable and enjoyable, the guitars are also really damn solid. This kind of production really shows how good modern technology is as this was recorded in a home studio and sounds really damn good. The sound is thick but still nuanced enough to appreciate the music. Nonetheless, the quality of the riffs are the main appeal of doom for me and it's truly there. The heavy guitars are making the Saint-Lawrence river agitated and it's waking up the corpses laying in the earth beneath the Plains of Abraham. The riffs are precise but still possess this jam-like ability and this skill is combined to fun bluesy soloing akin to trad underrated doomsters Blood Farmers and Ogre.

Even if the project is still relatively young, the direction and identity of the band is clear enough and he knows where he's going. There's even a lot of variety, ranging from
acoustic tracks recalling the mellow identity of Black Sabbath (the wonderful “The Captor” and “The Beast”), some spacey psychedelic moments, a good mix of faster pummeling moments and some slower introspection.

I also really liked the sporadic use of samples (from the famous Rob Ford line “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine” to lines fro Dawn of the Dead, it adds something cool to the fold and works well with the fun & spooky aura the band is showing. Despite the amusing kool aid references, the music remains serious and thoroughly well written. The only negative thing I thought of are the vocals, I'm not a big fan of the Jus Oborn school and akin to Electric Wizard, the voice in Strange Broue is buried underneath layers of doom. I personally prefer different approaches but this fits the music like a glove so it's not a big deal
. Doom works well within these DIY confines, the vision is clear and everything (from the artwork to the production and the music) is made by one super talented individual. If you're into doom/stoner and haven't heard this yet, it's time to check it out.

Strange Broue on Bandcamp

No comments: