Laudanum The Coronation

Laudanum The Coronation

Guitarist and drummer couple Judd and Becky Hawk may've known the potential of joining up with Brainoil bassist Greg "Gandalf" Wilkinson and Graves at Sea vocalist Nathan Misterek but no one could've predicted exactly what Laudanum would become. This half-doom, half-noise outfit smother themselves on their debut full-length, The Coronation. "Invoke" picks up the mantle of Mindrot's "Forlorn" and drags it through a pelagic trough of descending chords and eardrum-perforating feedback. "Wooden Horse" lumbers up ancient hillsides much like the mythical Trojan Horse, with Burning Witch blasting from the onboard speakers, then the acoustic/ambient "Autumn Horse" creeps through the aftermath of smouldering wreckage and rotting corpses. The drum-less "In Obscura" is Earth for the intransigent, with the incorporeal voices from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack swirling around sub-bass tones. The 11-minute "Apotheosis" glides through migraine-inducing white noise and a single poignant piano plink before falling headlong into the muck again. Oakland is notorious for birthing some of metal's greatest unsung sludge groups ― Noothgrush, Dystopia and Creuvo, to name a few ― and Laudanum rank in the upper echelons of noise-drenched, head down doom for the demoralized. (20 Buck Spins)