If a picture tells a thousand words, then a song with no words can tell at least as many. Take the EP “Hand of Glory” from French doom/sludge/stoner quintet The Lumberjack Feedback. Each of the two songs runs long enough to pull you out of reality and feel a story unfold. Your story. The only real drawback is that it takes more than two songs for this kind of doom/sludge to get the best effect. Bring on a full album.
Grabbing your attention early with flourishes of guitar then deep bass atop two drummers, the opener ‘A Whisper to the Thunder’ powers along with bags of confidence. One riff morphs into another as the deep bass and guitar counterpoint the lighter but still intense melodies above. The whole thing falls in on itself around the half-way point as the speed and tone drop from the mid-tempo opening to agonisingly slow and deliberate doomy sludge that anchors you to the deepest trenches of the ocean. The temptation might be to lower the guitars for more depth but instead the contrast with the bass and the slowness of the drums is what accentuates the sense of gravity pulling down on the listener.
‘Dreamcatcher’ crunches along with the ominous driving bass marching full of purpose and restrained anger wound up inside as the dual drum kits continue to methodically deliver the rest of the backbone. The thickness of The Lumberjack Feedback‘s rhythm section again allows guitars to riff and chug as they wish, the whole piece now setting up a mighty pulse as the beast lurches forward to an engaging climax.
Were this record to continue with another couple of tracks at least, it could be something to sit down to and get fully involved with, but playing two songs of this length over and over becomes tedious so you’re then faced with finding other music that works well with it and playing them together so you lose the identity. On its own there just isn’t enough, but what you get is fantastic.