Review Summary: Dr0)))ne for the masses
If there is something a drone music enthusiast enjoys is the ... well, droning sensation to the music. Mind you, it is difficult to pinpoint what is to be enjoyed about drone music for those not too keen of noise and ambient sounds that resemble regurgitation sounds (or bowel movements, for those who prefer a more biologically-inclined reference).
Greg(o)rian are a British band that release their first album in 2009, named Dormancy of our Omniscient Masters
, which was highly influenced by other British doom metal acts such as Electric Wizard or old-schoolers Black Sabbath, with heavier focus on riff-based rhythms and vocal work similar to Candlemass (back in their early days) or Reverend Bizarre. Settlements and Burial Chambers spun the wheel and focused on a more drone-based sound similar to Khanate or Sunn 0))).
One key element in Sunn 0))), for instance, is the crushing atmosphere they create in their early albums such as Black One, where the higher the volume, the ambient pushes the listener further into a droning psychedelia, seasoned with heart-wrenching screams. Unfortunately, Settlements and Burial Chambers just stays halfway from that. Even though guitar work is solid on its own, it doesn't quite go all the way to 11 like Black One does. The volume stays rather constant all through the album. Deep
is a droning piece but lacks the extra "oomph" altogether, and has rather unimaginative percussion work. Hymn to Pan
has to be a highlight of the album since it features vocal work (similar to aforementioned Candlemass) shifting from chants to screams almost seamlessly. The album flows naturally from song to song and ends with the self-titled song Settlements and Burial Chambers
which feels like a superposition of the first two songs, with heavier percussive work and more interesting vocal work more similar to the screaming featured in Black One. Nevertheless, once the album finally catches the listener's attention, it has already subdued to nothingness.
While they are no Sunn 0))), it would be interesting to listen to the songs live since they don't capture the sound it has the potential to have on record: Deafening guitars, crushing ambient and plain spooky feel altogether. It sounds like it could
(stress the could) have the soul-stealing effects of Khanate or Earth when played live (consider the effect of better amplification as well, and atmospheric sounds due to the nature of the venue), but on record it plain falls short on transmitting its inherent doom-like vibe.