Flood by DomkraftRelease date: October 19, 2018
Label: Blues Funeral Recordings
Riffs. RIFFS. Riiiiifffffffffs. Buy this record. The end.
What? You want to know more? All right then. Domkraft are a trio of Swedish doom-mongers. They worship the riff, to borrow the phrase loved of the much-missed Beastwars. They do so religiously. But they do not merely follow the well-worn, torch-lit template to the dank dungeons marked Sabbath and Candlemass.
Domkraft inject an urgency to their fuzzed-up guitars and the vocalist (and bass player), Martin Wegeland, bellows his lyrics of bleakness with the gusto of a noise-rock band. It is doom, ladies and gentlemen, but not as you know it (unless you heard their last album, but more on that later).
But at the heart of all this sorcery are the riffs. They tumble upon you, over and over again, most of the time keeping locked in time like a platoon of catatonic soldiers. Such as in the title track, which cranks up into a deceptively simple two-chord riff, whose only variation is to turn into a two-note riff. Sound fun? it is.
Other times the riffs shift and change infinitesimally as the songs progress, but only enough for the listener to notice way, way after they have been twisted into another form altogether. Without wanting to get to meteorological on you, it is like watching a cloud shaped like, I don’t know, a broken toaster, slowly morph into a disturbing part of an alien’s anatomy. You don’t see it change until it has already finished its transformation.
This is especially evident in the album’s opening track, ‘Landslide’, which sneaks in the room with a little quiet(ish) guitar but then drops a riff befitting the song’s name to land with crushing force on your brain. Almost 10 minutes later you think you are still listening to the same riff, but – and this is possibly magic – it has somehow changed into another vamp, still equally as heavy as the sun.
Whether they change or not, the riffs are massive and majestic, at once conjuring mental images of barren space-scapes and a big-sky desert wilderness (the latter is especially evident in the album’s closing track, ‘Dead Eyes, Red Skies’), all crystallised by astral sounds that Sleep would be proud to unleash.
If you think you have read a similar description of a Swedish doom band, you are probably right. Because this record follows on directly from Domkraft’s previous effort, The End of Electricity. Indeed, if you play one straight after the other and you would be forgiven for thinking they are two parts of an apocalyptic double album.
This is of course a good thing. Because riffs. RIFFS. Riiiiifffffffffs. The end.