Disappearer
The Clearing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
June 13th, 2009 | 23 replies | 8,587 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dense, organic, and crushing. Kind of like being at the bottom of a lake filled with Mercury, but without the damaging health risks.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

If you were to put the entire Metal genre into a test-tube, and leave it out on a table for a few hours, chances are one of the first things to settle to the bottom of the tube would be Sludge, and the reason why is in the name. Sludge is heavy, grimy, and largely insoluble in most subgenres, with the obvious exception of Post-Metal, which, in keeping with the Chemistry metaphors, could be considered an isotope of Sludge (or vice-versa depending on the way you choose to look at it). As one dimensional as this makes Sludge seem as a whole, the fact of the matter is simply that Sludge is best when left the way it is: dirty, grimy, and unattractive (aesthetically speaking of course). However, that's not to say that mixing Sludge with other subgenres can't be done. Bands such as Baroness and Mastodon (pre Crack the Skye) have continued to imbibe their sludgy output with elements of progressive metal, while bands like Isis, Pelican, and Rosetta are prime examples of how simple, yet effective, it is to mix Post-Metal atmospherics with sludgy grit. Well now, you can add Boston, Massachusetts' Disappearer to that latter list of bands, as their debut full length, The Clearing, is exemplary record filled to the brim with sludgy Post-Metal, and a few refreshing surprises.

The Clearing contains all of the usual elements that have come to be expected from an album within the genre. Reverb drenched guitar riffs the size of mountains, drums that sound like they're being pounded with tree branches rather than sticks, distorted, speaker rattling basslines, and neanderthal-esque vocal performances are all present here in copious amounts and are performed to a tee, but the real driving force behind the album is the band's refreshing sense of melodicism. Nearly every figurative inch of the album is inhabited by brimming melodies that serve to stitch everything together neatly, be it an underlying guitar melody, or a sudden, unexpected shift in the vocals from the usual gruff tone to a fairly pleasant and surprisingly clean one. Occasionally, the band uses these underlying melodicisms to throw in something truly surprising, like the very brief, borderline falsetto scattered throughout album highlight Glassland, or the four and a half minutes of acoustic guitar, violin, and hand-claps in The Clearing, the album's closer. Of course, even with all of these surprising little nuggets scattered throughout, an album that constantly churns out megalithic sized pieces without rest runs a very high risk of running itself into the ground, but thankfully, Disappearer knows exactly when to shift gears well before any particular part loses any momentum, so even though the album never really lets up for 45 minutes (until the acoustic break in the closer), the constant, subtle evolutions it goes through keep it from being dragged through the mud.

However, be forewarned; The Clearing is not an album for casual enjoyment. Taking in nearly an hour filled with consistently crushing performances (thought not quite as crushing as a band such as, say, Moss), is not a task that most listeners would choose to undertake, but it makes the experience of truly taking in the album in its entirety that much more of a rewarding experience. Also, if you can, do not insult this album by listening to it through pathetic laptop speakers, as this album demands nothing short of cranked surround sound speakers, and your undivided attention.



Recent reviews by this author
BATS The Sleep of ReasonCoheed and Cambria The Afterman: Ascension
Sohns Ripe/RotBaroness Yellow and Green
Red Fang Murder the MountainsGood Night & Good Morning Good Night & Good Morning
user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
June 13th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey look a metal review. Album rules hard.

Also, this review is for Karl.

Zip
June 13th 2009



5312 Comments


Who is Karl.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2009



8317 Comments


the_wizard

good review my man

marksellsuswallets
June 13th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He's been on my case about my lack of metal reviews lately...haha.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2009



8317 Comments


the_wizard = metal

FistfulOfSteel
June 13th 2009



894 Comments


saw this on one of Zoo's lists a little while back. gonna check this out soon.

Prophet178
June 13th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album slays, thanks for the review.

jrowa001
June 14th 2009



8750 Comments


yeah this album is pretty good. i really need to catch up on my ratings here. i have this as a 3.5 on rym but always forget to rate here

rasputin
June 14th 2009



14512 Comments


sounds like something i'd like, good review

marksellsuswallets
June 14th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is something rasputin would probably like.

Wizard
June 15th 2009



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey look a metal review. Album rules hard.

Also, this review is for Karl.


: ) : ) : ) : )

You are the man and I was totally turned on by the word 'sludge'. Your description of sludge metal is better than mine (Minsk review). Checking this out tonight. Review was boner.

Digging: Merzbow - Dust of Dreams

marksellsuswallets
June 15th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Do it to it bro. And gracias.

Wizard
June 15th 2009



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is awesome. Where the hell did you find these guys?

marksellsuswallets
June 15th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Played a show with one of the band's on their label, label subsequently added us on MySpace, found out a bunch of bands I liked were on that label, decided to check out more bands on the label...yep.

Wizard
June 15th 2009



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously jealous. You should try touring with these guys : o

This is the perfect balance of sludge/ melody/ hardcore.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 15th 2009



4938 Comments


if this is good rock n roll i might like it.

Wizard
June 15th 2009



19206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The whole album is streaming on their myspace page.

Edit: Think this might make my top 10 this year.

Zoo
June 21st 2009



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review and it's good to see an unsung band finally get some well-deserved attention.

Jebull
March 4th 2011



1340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty ballin'.. surprised that I don't already have it...

BloodSweatandBeers
March 4th 2011



999 Comments


ballin' indeeds



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy