Absent/Minded – Alight

Maybe I have a short memory, but sludge doom is not one of the most beaten genre in the teutonic fertile lands. Also for this reason, the third album of Absent/Minded, titled Alight, is a pleasant surprise, even if it doesn’t bring much novelty to the subject matter. The work of the quartet from Bavaria stands out, substantially, thanks to its monolithic but at the same time quite accessible pace, where the only parts more orthodox doom appear as real impassable walls; on the contrary, when the sound raises, even if a little, the rhythms, the muddy riffs lead to a convinced and anything but mechanical headbanging. The opener Light Remains is a perfect example of the ease with which Absent/Minded are able to put on stage in a captivating way widely known plots: in the end the secret, which is not even such, is reduced to not further burdening with brainy solutions a genre that, already in itself, is as light as a granite boulder. It’s worth noting the crescendo of a track like Arrivers, with a bass that plays an important role in outlining the trend, and the acoustic incipit of the final track So Dark, The Con Of Man that, afterwards, aligns itself with the context in grinding distorted and damn effective riffs. In conclusion, I’m happy that Absent/Minded have not aligned themselves with a trend that will never convince me 100%, although not deplorable regardless, which is to propose a genre so heavy in an exclusively instrumental version: Steve punctuates the songs with his growl in the average, but enough to keep at bay the risk of boredom, a real misfortune for those who approach the listening of any record. A compact band, which performs optimally its task without being tempted by flights of fancy but not even limiting itself to a calligraphic re-proposition of sludge: as far as I’m concerned, this is fine.

2015 – Independent