Debut Ep for Raj, a band from Lombardy and Veneto dedicated to a really intriguing stoner doom sludge. The first thing that jumps to the eye is the duration of the tracks, unpredictably short by the standards of the genre, while the sound seems much more in line with the habits, pleasantly retro in its combining of Sabbathian drives, starting from the voice (often filtered) of Francesco Menghi, with the diluted atmospheres of sludge and psychedelia of stoner. Guitar and rhythmic base contribute to build a wall of sound that does not distort the stylistic canons known, focusing on an obsessive impact that the riffing from the low tones makes it effective and pleasant to those accustomed to the genre; also interesting is the ambient break constituted by the fourth track Black Mumbai, indicator of an experimental propensity that perhaps deserves to be more distributed within the disc. As mentioned, its being turned to the past, sometimes in an ostentatious way, does not turn out to be a demerit for the group: who plays this genre is a sort of medium, able to make completely alive and current sound nuances that to many may appear dated; the Raj do it with competence and conviction, going to merge sometimes the most psychedelic sound of Doomraiser with certain shamanic doom in vogue in recent years (Omegagame is perhaps the best example) or recalling in a more explicit way, but still not calligraphic, the Sabbathian trademark (Kaluza). Having to look for the hair in the egg, net of the aforementioned ambient track, this ep self-titled shows at times an excessive compositional uniformity and, moreover, not always convincing the choice to deform the vocal timbre, the fact remains that the test of Raj is certainly of great thickness and, being a first taste, leaves open interesting prospects for future development.
2016 – Independent
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