If you're going to name your band after a record by one of your genres chosen greats, then you better have the musical balls to back it up. And damn, do Snailking back it up. Taking their name from Ufomammut's second album, Snailking tread in their path whilst building their own identity as a massive and heavy prospect in the world of sludged out doom. Samsara courses with intent and beauty whilst also holding on to the knowledge that life is, well, pain, and Sweden's Snailking hit this point with measure and astute observation. "Shelter" rolls with languid pace and a preternatural dusk settles over the sounds like a cloak whilst Pontus Ottosson's voice weaves its way through the stoned melodies the instrumentation behind provides. The hue of prevailing sadness becomes ever more clear as the track progresses and this shadow follows Samsara through to the final notes with a melancholic stain on perception.
Samsara is, evidently, meant to only be a demo, but the three tracks on this release are extraordinarily rendered. There is depth, and warmth and humanity beneath the waves of crunching guitar and soaring vocal shades, and second track "In The Wake" is a commanding and profound performance from a band making the early steps in what should hopefully be a long career. Looping rhythms colour "Samsara" with a fascinating melody and an electronic edge creeps in to give Snailking that little something extra in their soundscape that already gnaws and crackles with an otherworldly and binding energy.
Samsara revels in increasingly hypnotic notes and each track passes through moments of mesmerising repetition, drawing you in the the darkness below and wrapping itself around the mind, perfectly echoing the base meaning of the title - the cycle of death and rebirth to which we are bound. It's a powerful message and Snailking constantly circle this with patterns of sound that shift and change yet hold that deeper meaning rooted within it's walls. Snailking are to be watched.
8.0 / 10
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Posted Sept. 17, 2014, 7:51 p.m.
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