Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, November 16, 2020

Oldblood - Arms To The Sky

Now this is a nifty one. I think when we talk about blackened doom we frequently see bands that trend more towards the incredibly evil reveling in the murk and leaving listeners clawing at their faces trying to recapture lost sanity. Oldblood represent a different type of blackened doom, one where the frills of the black metal genre are more used to decorate stoner doom riffs. In some ways it reminds me of the band Glorior Belli and their southern fried black metal. The end result is their EP Arms To The Sky, a truly interesting listen. 

At times this combination of ideas, of stoner with black metal is fascinating, at others it feels forced. Then on tracks like 'Nuclear Blues' we hear examples of both on the same track. On the one hand I've got to love the arpeggiated picking and frostbitten ideas decoration the intros. On the other - I'm not entirely sure if I like fat bluesy stoner grooves going on underneath my black metal. It makes for a rather unorthodox approach that frequently has listeners wondering where they will go next. Both sets of ideas are certainly valid and Oldblood definitely have the capability to execute on either. Watching as they come to terms with this though has been very interesting. 

There are a lot of layers to pick apart here and it's a blast to spend time delving into and unpicking what exactly the band has been up too after all this time. Arms To The Sky is the portrait of a band on the verge, they have found some interesting ideas, now they just need to figure out how they are going to execute on them in a way that looks and feels truly remarkable. That next step is going to be quite the journey for these London doom merchants. 

Pre-order the album here!


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