Monday 8 June 2015

Kurokuma - Demo


1. 18.2 Tons
2. Ursus Thibetanus

It seems as though the tradition of releasing demos on tape or cdr is dying out, now we're in the digital age. Thankfully though, digital is fine when you're writing a review and I've spoken out in the past on social media about hobbyist journalists expecting (and asking for!) physical copies of releases to review and the cost involved with that expectation. Sheffield's Kurokuma are a bit of a rarity, as they play a style of heavy music that stands out amidst Sheff's more hardcore leaning. This two-track demo was released in November 2014 and has already helped them to secure slots alongside Fvnerals, Skeletonwitch and Conan to name a few! They're also in the progress of writing a new EP, so this review may be well timed.

The tags on their bandcamp page read “metal, art rock, dark doom, psych, sludge, stoner”, so that should give you a clue as to their musical direction. Much like the myriad of Leeds’ bands currently shaking West Yorkshire (Bong Cauldron, Irk, etc), Kurokuma prove that there is more to Sheff than hardcore/punk. 18.2 Tons is as heavy as the title suggests with plenty of humongous riffs and off-kilter rhythms. The vocals are roared and the music is mesmerising. On second song Ursus Thibetanus, Kurokuma pull out their stoner influences during the intro in the form of some wicked bluesy riffs. They continue through the song, just about audible through the intense screams. The percussion led instrumental section mid-way through sounds like aliens abducted Kurokuma and replaced them with a Samba band, before being swallowed up by extended guitar noise. Kurokuma are happy getting lost in their creations and they’ll drag you along too. The band is looking for a label or labels to help them get their music out physically and on this showing, somebody should heed their call. Really good stoner/doom with enough inventiveness to standout.

Stream and download Kurokuma's demo (pay-what-you want) below:-

Check their Facebook page for news on the EP and future shows if you're around the Sheffield area  -

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