Matterhorn: Vol. 1. The World Began Without Man…

via The Soda Shop:

The Ultimate Doom Metal Cover

Imagine Pelican if they were more about the war hammer than the scalpel, and a random member of Hail of Bullets were sitting in.

…That’s a very crude approximation of Colorado’s Matterhorn (not to be confused with Australia or Belgium’s bands of the same name) and their first full-length, Vol. 1. The World Began Without Man…

It’s instrumental metal, which I love, and it’s crazy-detuned, which I practically worship. There’s five tunes (called Stages), and each one seems to sonically delineate, as Matterhorn puts it, a “plausible” end of the world.

Maybe I’m deeply misanthropic, but it’s strangely soothing.

Stage One, Long Valley Caldera is bowel-shaking mono-note doom, but doom that also manages to upswing when it wants to and take off like Ghost Rider‘s bike. Rare, in my experience anyway, that doom can be agile at times too.

Armada Storm (stage 2) highlights the Hail of Bullets similarities, and The Currents (stage 3), at around 3:15 fires off some nicely coordinated feedback (it’s so rare to hear an actual “new” sound in music– Matterhorn use the feedback as a separate instrument, like Eyehategod can), and at 4:30 they launch into a sweet helmet-ish riff.

Overall, Vol. 1 is nicely blended: it bounces from sounds to sound and riff to riff but seems like one coherent sound, rather than a hodge-podge; similar to the way soundtracks change moods but still score the same movie.

Stage 5 ends with tape hiss, static, and fragmented emergency management system radio broadcasts, heard through that cheap wind-up radio you put in the bomb shelter… It grinds down to the end with sounds representative of both Matterhorn and the end of times- the noise floor of the apocalypse.

 

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