It’s no surprise that the French quintet The Lumberjack Feedback chose to use “lumberjack” in their name, as their colossal tunes make listeners feel like they are being crushed under the weight of collapsing trees cut down by said members of the logging industry. This instrumental doom/post-metal act take cues from heralded purveyors of the genres like Pelican and Neurosis, and meld it into their own grim, dark and moody style (the album art alone should hint at the tone of the record). Their debut full-length recording, Blackened Visions, builds upon their 2013 Hand of Glory EP, and shows the band blending atmosphere and sonic weight for a thunderous listening experience. It’s hard not to be enthralled, and simultaneously pulverized by this band’s aggressive take on post-metal.
Down-tuned chugging grooves and bellowing bass lines stampede through a wall of feedback and commence an apocalyptic death march on “No Cure (for the fools)” – a track that sets the tone for this gloomy record. The guitars weave together muscular chords and Eyehategod-esque sludge stomps throughout this five-minute stormer, while the percussive beatdown of the band’s two drummers adds to the song (and the album’s) heaviness. The album’s title track follows next with some melancholic, textural guitar melodies and subtly complex drum patterns that slowly-build into a sludgy cataclysm. This track gets progressively heavier as it trudges along – unleashing steady doom crawls that bleed into chugging destruction and walls of monstrous sound.
Other highlights of the record include the nearly eight-minute stunner “IMereMortal”. The track begins with thick, menacing tremolo-picked chords that are propelled by the drummers’ contrasting, but interwoven jazzy patterns. Soon the track explodes into a wealth of black metal adjacent atmospherics that transition to a lengthy procession of droning doom that is accompanied by an array of percussive acrobatics. Final track”Mah Song (Horse of Gods)” closes out the album on a surprising note with galloping, classic rock inspired riffs, and expressive solo work, that are blended in with the band’s sludgy style. Though the song splits from the darker tone of the record, it is hard to deny its catchiness. Tracks like these prove that the band aren’t one trick ponies and can experiment while staying true to themselves.
Blackened Visions is a very solid post-metal/sludge/doom/what have you record that not only pays homage to the progenitors of the genres, but possesses its own personality. The Lumberjack Feedback craft some colossal, seismic compositions full of dark atmospheres that are unyielding in their bleakness. But the band also make room for melody, however somber they may be, as well as experimentation. This is a solid debut from a band who are poised to do some interesting things.
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Label: Kaotoxin Records
Favorite Tracks: “No Cure (for the fools)”, “Blackened Visions”, “IMereMortal” and “Dra Til Helvete”
For Fans Of: Pelican, Neurosis, Isis, Omega Massif and Hemelbestormer