Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Hazarder - Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!


Croatian doom/sludge band Hazarder have been on my radar for sometime, yet I've managed to miss the opportunity to write about them for various reasons. Their debut album Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! was released as an LP last December by a cooperative of labels including Mordgrimm (UK/USA), Insane Society (Czech Republic), Neanderthal Stench (Belgium), PMK Records (Serbia) and Black Dawn Records (Germany). It follows their earlier split record with Livia Sura. They recently toured the UK in support of the LP, but I managed to miss their Leeds show (Again, I failed!). Against His-Story, Against Leviathan contains seven songs.

Tracklist:-

1. Heart of Darkness (Instrumental)
2. Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!
3. Fertile Crescent
4. New Order of The Ages
5. Scorpiopium
6. Nova
7. Doomriders

Heart of Darkness, the opening instrumental features plenty of traditional Croatian folk atmosphere, which isn’t surprising as members of Hazarder also play in a retro rock band featuring folk and occult influences. Hazarder are a three-piece and as they wind their into the title track, their sound envelopes you with it’s bass heavy tone. The vocals are audible yet deep bellows from Radivojewitch. Their approach is doom-laden, with mid-paced instrumental passages and minimal vocals.

With the exception of the initial intro song, they don’t drop below five minutes with any number. Fertile Ground ups the bass-heaviness to a new level and settles into a classy groove. Those vocal bellows are used more in the song too and the rhythms created by the drums stick toward the front of the mix. The guitar fuzz reminds you that you’re listening to a doom band. It’s all massively trippy and trance-inducing. It’s awesome sitting here listening to the colossal intro to New Order Of The Ages, as the thunder clouds build outside my window. It’s hot and sticky here, to the point of claustrophobia and matches the mood of Hazarder to a tee.

Scorpiopium (sick title!) is Hazarder’s longest on the record at nine minutes, but it’s also the gnarliest sludge track. They pair things back and the riffs are slower, before they head into off-kilter territory just for shits and giggles. There’s still plenty of groove and while it’s mainly instrumental, you’ll still get lost in it’s steely gaze. That claustrophobic atmosphere carries on into Nova, the penultimate song. It hasn’t made the thunder start yet though! What it has done though is hook me in to Hazarder’s sound. It’s great that they’re able to sound so mammoth yet make their songs sound shorter than they are, which has kept me hooked throughout. 

Closing song Doomriders, pretty aptly describes Hazarder. It rounds out the album well with more of the bands groove n doom and actually sounds quite upbeat. Hazarder have crafted something here that’s not laborious, instead being pretty too the point and punchy. Good on them for getting the formula right.

You stream Against His-Story, Against Leviathan here:-



You can buy the LP from the below labels:-

Mordgrimm - http://mordgrimm.bigcartel.com
Insane Society - http://www.insanesociety.net
Neanderthal Stench - http://neanderthal-stench.com/
PMK Records - http://pmkrecords.com/
Black Dawn Records - http://www.blackdawnrecords.wordpress.com/

Hazarder Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hazarder.church
Mordgrimm Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Mordgrimm
Insane Society Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Insane-Society-records
Neanderthal Stench Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Neanderthal-stench
PMK Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PMKRecords
Black Dawn Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BlackDawnDistro

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