Review Summary: Stomach Earth is a harrowing journey - one that should be taken.
Most musical genres aim to form a temporal reality in which the listener can escape the harsh and unforgiving realities often experienced. These, understandably, are enjoyed by the vast majority of the population, who are reluctant to face the disorientation that accompanies the acceptance of global and personal suffering.
Unfortunately, this innocent naiveté is contradictory to the broken world in which we live. While there is a time for this narrow contentedness, to reach a level of legitimate maturity, it is also necessary to face the pain and sorrow that plagues the world. Paul Ricoeur, an acclaimed French philosopher, calls this essential development "Critical Distance".
superbly captivates this metaphysical approach, prompting the listener to meditate on these excruciating truths. The album feels raw, and unforgiving.
Void Angel Ritual
opens the record, establishing a thick atmosphere of grief. A deeply human grief. Mckenzie's tortured growls suggest a desperate and helpless state, devoid of emotion and yet powerfully ardent. In spite of the fact that his screams are unintelligible, his delivery is flawless; it builds perfectly upon the apocalyptic landscape of each track.
Gunface's musicianship is also impressive. The tone of the guitars is exemplary - raw, concussive and slow. While the album remains fairly slow, the instrumentation is engaging and dramatic, fascinating and beautiful in its ability to induce sorrow and reflection in the listener. The drums are also very fitting with the general atmosphere, though I would have appreciated additional variations and musical complexities that might bring me to return to this bewitching journey through the despondency of the broken human spirit.
Doom metal is generally a very intriguing form of expression because of its melodic and bluesy influences. Likewise, in the face of the album's unrelenting sludge, Mckenzie is able to integrate some very fluid and appropriate melodies that brilliantly contrast the aggressive blackness that pervades each track.
is a phenomenal release that is worth experiencing. It is a paragon of the sorrowful reality that Earth has become. Listen to this in moderation, remembering that there is a time to embrace everything. Pain is real. Hope is real.
Listen and reflect.