Filling ALL your monolithic epic banger quotas this fall, the latest from Belgian Post-Sludgelords Pothamus is monumentally monolithic. It’s huge! It’s heavy! It’s heavenly! It’s all the adjectives and adverbs and, quite simply, astounding.
With Raya, Pothamus set the bar incredibly high with a sound that’s like Sigur Ros mixed with the orchestral work of Graeme Revell (The Crow score immediately comes to mind) which is exactly the tone set on opener “Orath”, tapping into an almost primal essence within this mystical yet somber world that’s both chaotic and cathartic.
“Viso” is similarly foreboding with throbbing bass drones by Michael Lombarts and a mix of this steady propulsion and concentrated hits from drummer Mattia M Van Hulle topped by vocals that yearn from Sam Coussens and wailing guitars that match the mood.
Similarly intertwined but each epic in their own right, think of “Heravis I” and “Heravis II” as the “Parabol” and “Parabola” of this opus with “Heravis I” treading into Isis territory with its’ Prog platitudes while “Heravis II” has some Black Wing/All Your Sisters vibes because of the sheer magnitude of the soundscape built here.
The title track is a sprawling slab of burgeoning visceral intensity, weaving in and out of this trance-like state with Lombarts’ hypnotic low end bouncing off Coussens’ eerie guitar tones perfectly as Van Hulle’s tribal lambasting laments and builds suspense before Coussens’ monstrous maw begins to shriek. And did we mention that it’s also the biggest track on here? Because it is. And even these sixteen minutes barely contain “Raya” as it switches between a sleeping giant slowly crawling into this catastrophic Kaiju, wreaking a path of sonic destruction on all in its’ path.
“Varos” is something else entirely, offering up a concluding track that’s ominous yet uplifting with Coussens’ lush vocal delivery providing this delightful dichotomy from the rumbling of Van Hulle and Lombarts’ rhythm section.
Raya lands via Consouling Agency on December 4th. It’s freaking epic. You can pre-order your copy today by heading here or here. For more on Pothamus, follow them on the interwebs by clicking here or here.