Caustic sludge and gritty stoner metal collide head-on with hard rock swagger and heart on Abrams sophomore full-length, Morning.
Following 2015’s Lust. Love. Loss, Morning shows the Denver trio returning refocused, re-energized, and with 10 new heavy hitters. The sludge is sludgier, the grooves hit harder, and the rock fervor is much more impassioned and memorable this time around. Morning‘s hook-laden heavy rock is as catchy as it is crushing, trapping listeners in a sonic rock slide that will have them singing along as they tumble violently down.
Morning kicks off with the rampaging one-two punch of “Worlds Away” and “At the End”. “Worlds Away” briefly trudges forth with a heavy procession of sludgy, bludgeoning chords before launching into a stampede of gritty post-hardcore-esque riffs that shift feverishly from steady assaults, to chugging beatdowns and dissonant flurries. Taylor Iversen and Zachary Amster spearhead this track with their dueling vocals, which range from fierce yells to gruff refrains. “At the End” comes crashing in shortly after its predecessor’s fiery conclusion, delivering angular, dissonant licks, hammering grooves and a monstrous hook that will have listeners yelling until they are hoarse.
This raging sludge approach can be heard in other cuts like “Can’t Sleep” and “Die in Love”, while other tracks like “18 Weeks” and “Rivers” showcase the band really embracing their more rock-oriented influences. The band’s sludgy low-end runs a thread throughout these two tracks in particular, while vibrant melodies and more upbeat rhythms glide over the top. Muscular grooves walk hand-in-hand with heavy rock energy as Iverson and Amster unleash memorable hook after memorable hook.
Then there are moments on the record such as “Mourning” and “In this Mask” that strike a balance between the album’s hard rock inclinations and its brooding, sludgy heart. Here the band employ a potent sense of melody that goes head-to-head with intense metallic sprawls. Melodic riffs spiral on top of bellowing low end and lumbering grooves, often giving rise to virtuosic solo work (“Mourning” in particular) as the band continues its sludgy march underneath. The riffs hit harder, the melodies are more dynamic, and the vocals are much more powerful and commanding on these cuts, resulting in two of the album’s strongest tracks.
Morning‘s eclectic, yet grounded sound is equally heavy and catchy and is sure to appease fans of early Baroness and the like, as well as those of Mark Lanegan and his contemporaries. Abrams brings an abundance of grit and energy on this stellar sludge rock recording, one that will have listeners wanting to revisit over and over again.
Release Date: June 9, 2017
Label: Sailor Records
Favorite Tracks: “Worlds Away”, “At the End”, “Burned”, “Mourning” and “In this Mask”
For Fans of: Baroness, Lord Dying, Khemmis and Kyuss