Friday, January 10, 2014

Slumber Room - Slumber Room


After a short dirty raga, we're introduced to Slumber Room's debut EP - a bag of mystery, hovering somewhere between black metal, sludge and rock. It's not something that's easy to describe, particularly when there are so many different feels and looks across the release. It's more of something which the listener would take as it comes, whether it's the heavier, faster "Someone... Everyone... No One..." or the slower, tragic crumbling of "Under the Dying Moon," the key for Slumber Room, in all the tracks, even the two  non-songs which include the ragaesque intro and the moody piano track, "Our Shrine," is a repetition and redundancy which is appropriate with the band's moniker. These tracks will inspire sleepiness and a melancholy feeling of relaxation but most important is that Slumber Room seem to be more focused on maintaining the band's concept and style across a broad spectrum of different sounds, all consistent with each other somehow.

The production on this tape has a unique tone to it. The guitars are very thick and powerful, sounding with a bit of a twang on them. I'm not a guitar dude, but I'm pretty sure that the guitars are running through an HM2 pedal. Even with the thicker tone of the guitars, the other instruments are all very noticeable and clear. The bass is punchy and important, the drums are big and powerful with a massive stomach-punching kick drum and subdued cymbals. If there is an issue I have with the production on this, it's with the mixing of the vocals, which are lower in the mix. You don't get a good feel for them compared to the other instruments. This may be a good thing, however. The vocals are mundane, typical sludgy static screams that would be at home elsewhere. It's the one thing that I think holds Slumber Room back and something which could be used in the future to make Slumber Room something more than it is.

This is a strong first release, though, for this Seattle project and with only two members, M. Nihilist and M. Krutsinger - neither of which reveal what instruments they are responsible for - Slumber Room is mysterious enough to gain interest. The dual responsibilities shared are likely one of the reasons why there is so much consistency across the release, with only two points of input, you're getting a highly refined sound. I'm positive that fans of doom and black that find solace in the trance-inducing repetition of bands like this will latch on and turn off quickly. With the small niche Slumber Room would fine home with, it's possible for the band to spread rapidly by word of mouth. Packaged in a large plastic DVD case, with a nice layout and professionally imprinted tape shell, No Visible Scars has a nice release here. I just wish the case would stop popping open.

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