Black Shape of Nexus/Kodiak


Written by: EW on 16/04/2010 20:55:50

Split releases are a useful way for bands to spread their name while keeping costs to a minimum, and thus I can see why they are issued, but as a fan they have never really bothered me. The one split I own which ever gets an airing is that of Goatsnake/Burning Witch, but now with this release you can double that list. This slab of equally doomed proportions comes courtesy of Germans Black Shape of Nexus and Kodiak and I'm pleased to say its two songs rival those on the aforementioned 'Snake/Witch release in tectonic riff composition and bone-crushing heaviness. Must be something about the heaviest of doom that suits these split albums...

Crawling in at speeds hard to fathom for most non-believers, BSoN's 22-minute "VIIIE" rumbles along consistently and enigmatically, only occasionally breaking its stride for impromptu moments of amped feedback before launching itself back into it's bass-heavy lumbering lead riff. Vocals of hoarse pained growls/screams sit atop the torrent of doom that recalls the vibes laid down previously by Burning Witch and Goatsnake themselves, as well as Asunder, Church of Misery, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine and the likes. "VIIIE"'s 22 minutes end up disappearing quicker than you'd imagine such a tortuous procession ever could do and as it drifts out with the sounds of feedback, air raid sirens and softly spoken female vocals, thoughts of what else the band might have to offer come to mind as this song is brilliant.

Kodiak's 17-minute "Town of Machine" is more Neurosis and Cult of Luna post-metal in nature; not as heavy as BSoN's offering but equally drone-laden in spacey feedback and dissonant meanderings as their doomed German brothers. The big names of the genre inevitably come to mind but greatest comparison can be made to Bossk as the slow and gradual movements through different sections fall together in a manner very similar to how those Brits worked their magic, especially as the absence of any vocals places extra emphasis on the moods being played out by the band. That post-metal influence is inimitably apparent in the middle minutes of the song where all drums and virtual progress ceases, as Kodiak allow you to drift off into a sea of feedback and amplifier ringing, fitting nicely with the more classic doom template going from BSoN and being a fine example of such a template in itself.

It may only be 2 songs, but they span 39 minutes between them and work together together to show off two German bands that can at least supply the goods across one song each and hopefully have the quality to do as such across a whole album each and with that this success can be deemed a success. Doom or be doomed!


Download: N/A
For the fans of: Goatsnake, Neurosis, Bossk
Listen: Black Shape of Nexus myspace

Release date 01.04.2010
Denovali Records

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