Album Title: 
Reclaimed By The Forest
Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Review Type: 

2014 was truly a year that did put the Doom-Sludge scene on the highest step. There were so many releases, including lots of disappointments, but amongst them also tens of fabulous ones; something we didn’t experience since this genre was sort of ‘born’. We have to make sure that this trend does not overrule itself, but as for now, I think there is no silly overcrowding.

Brings me easily to Reclaimed By The Forest, the debut of very young trio Algoma, which hails from Ontario, Canada. They too create a mixture of utterly dark and heavy, I mean HEAVY, Doom and sludge. Despite them being so young (as an act; I don’t know about the individual members’ ages), they truly crush your balls (and in case you’re of the female kind: [self-censorship]). Okay, let’s analyse the opening track, for example, which clocks ten minutes. It’s nothing but ultra-heavy yet old style-influenced riffs, an even heavier rhythm section (the raw yet balanced mix makes the rhythm guitars, bass lines, drums etc. unnecessary important – or is it necessary?...), and rough, slightly grunting vocals with a Post-Hardcore attitude. What I like is that there is quite some dissonance instead of high-tech and high-profiled modernism. Even the samples give this band’s approach that something nastier, making them, once again, differing from the grey masses. The following tracks follow the very same trend in general, but most of them are less impressive / impressing.

Lately there have been releases that did convince me much more, I have to admit. But I heard less interesting stuff too. Actually, Reclaimed By The Forest brings not that much additional; I mean, Algoma do not renew the scene at all. Once again, that’s not the aim to please undersigned. Being original is not a certainty for glory; not being original but doing the right thing is much more of importance – at least, that’s my personal opinion. And it makes me somewhat ‘in the middle’ of enthusiasm and disappointment. I am not impressed, not irritated either. There is a lot to enjoy on this album, but at the other hand, it might have been done before with some more craftsmanship of skills. …confusing it is…

Let’s say that, because of their young age, Algoma have to search for that specific thing that makes them part of the elite. I think they do have the capacities, I truly am convinced about that. With this album, they showed their capabilities / possibilities, but there are still some points of criticism. So, let’s await their next effort to see if they did really evolve… For now, I do want to give them the benefit of doubt…