All Colours Retract



by Jalapeno CONTRIBUTOR (28 Reviews)
September 29th, 2022 | 1 replies

Release Date: 09/09/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sludge riffs reborn

New and obscure sludge releases are something I have begrudgingly grown to approach with a certain degree of trepidation - a fear of being greeted with a bland sixty minutes of overly atmospheric music with a distinct lack of memorable riffs. Enter Danish three-piece outfit Offernat who (with their independently released debut) thankfully reinstate the almighty sludge riff – an especially pleasant surprise on a release containing only four tracks, the shortest of which still exceeds a duration of ten minutes. Having said that, All Colours Retract still boasts its fair share of atmospheric qualities but rather than reaching saturation point, the band has approached this with an optimal degree of curation, resulting in a wild ride of metal which fuses 00s progressive sludge with elements of doom, black metal and post-rock/metal.

Opener “Inside the Fog” wastes no time in smacking you in the face with a series of lurching, pelagic riffs, similar to the oceanic brutality of early Mastodon. The track builds in intensity as it reaches the halfway point of the +10-minute duration, developing an almost insurmountable feeling before crashing down to the ocean floor and erupting again with near overwhelming levels of feedback and screeching effects. More Mastodon influence is featured on the epic “The Winds” which showcases some slow yet intricate, atonal riffs, akin to the sounds explored on the 2004 masterpiece Leviathan. Post-rock and black metal influences play a significant role in the overall sound of the remainder of the album. All tracks besides the opener contain strong elements of both genres with the aforementioned epic “The Winds” opening with rapid blast beats and thick, atmospheric guitars while the middle section possesses qualities akin to the lighter side of Glaswegian post-rock titans Mogwai. “Harvest Return” and “Caught in Existence” both switch between suffocating riffs and relaxing clean guitar and bass melodies but over the course of their combined length of 23 minutes, the album descends to a bit of an anti-climax after the commendable quality of the first two offerings.

While musically diverse, the vocal department is stubbornly similar throughout. The overall tone shares a parity with the harsh vocal delivery * la Tom Araya of thrash metal legends Slayer and to a lesser extent, Lars-Göran Petrov of Entombed fame. While it does suit the music well, I was surprised to learn that lead vocal duties are shared between all three members of Offernat as this was not readily apparent to my ears and still not particularly so after several listens. Cohesivity is another department where the band fall somewhat. As pleasant as the post-rock passage is on “The Winds”, its placement seems somewhat disjointed with the rest of the album and doesn’t slot in as nicely as the similar passages on the other tracks.

A worthwhile listen to any fan of sludge, All Colours Retract demonstrates a return of the glorious and all too absent sludge riff while maintaining a healthy atmospheric quality from the more modern facets of the genre. Despite the mild disappointment in the decline in quality in the latter half, Offernat are certainly more than worth keeping an eye on.

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Josh D.
September 30th 2022


They spelled colors wrong.

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