Album Review: Everest Queen – Murmurations

Album Review: Everest Queen - Murmurations
Reviewed by Julian Pepper

Everest Queen’s 2019 debut 'Dead Eden' was released to critical acclaim, with its mix of sludge, doom and death metal style vocals going down a storm with both reviewers and fans alike. Since then, they’ve built themselves a reputation as a great live band, which I once again experienced recently first hand at The Black Heart in Camden where some tracks off the new album were aired.

Whilst 'Dead Eden' hinted at some post metal influences, recently released follow-up 'Murmurations' pushes this even further whilst also expanding into progressive/psychedelic doom territory.

At nine and half minutes long, opener 'Sunken Thorn' is a great way to start the album and exhibits the varying skills and attributes of the band! An initial jangly guitar line rapidly descends into a huge Sabbathian riff, which is superbly supplemented by the blood curdling screams courtesy of lead singer Adam C Taylor. Two thirds of the way through the pace speeds up before coming back down to the slow heavy earth again. This is definitely one for the riff lovers out there!

Second track 'Of Treachery and Shadows' is another head nodder that once again builds around a trademark hypnotic riff before we’re introduced to the title track, which provides a subtle instrumental interlude before merging into the albums piece de resistance track 'Dormant River'.

Album Review: Everest Queen – Murmurations

'Dormant River' is where the post rock influences really start to come to the fore. Based around a looping bass line provided by now departed bassist Jimmy Long, which is very reminiscent of Isis (the band!), this nine plus minutes track gradually builds around clean guitars and subtle drums into what is probably the fuzziest and heaviest riff on the entire album. Big shout out to drummer Brad Cook who does a superb job holding this track together with the various time changes that it entails.

'Divergence' was the first track released from the album and sure did whet the appetite for what was to come! Here it's book ended by the two more progressive tracks on the album and like the opening track it showcases the ability of the band to mix up the styles and shift gears on a number of occasions.

Closing track 'The Burial' once again brings to mind the likes of Isis and Cult of Luna (always a good thing!), with its slow build up and clean vocals and guitar eventually giving way to an entirely heavier beast that ends the album in fine style.

'Murmurations' is the sound of a band expanding their musical palette whilst retaining their heavy sludge roots and is quite frankly one of the albums of the year!

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