balam_cover__200_The first demo from Rhode Island five piece Balam is a slow burner of three lengthy tracks that span just over 30 minutes. Originally recorded in a session of just 12 hours, the quality of the material was so impressive that it was quickly snapped up by Mordgrimm and Spectrelight.

Marrying together all of the best elements of Sleep and Black Sabbath, these guys have hit a formula in which their songs build up tension at a slow, but steady simmer and then just at the point where you think they’re about to bust out some drone style vocals, the music picks up to a nice 70’s style pace with echoing psychedelic chorals and a shed load of fuzz.

The production quality leaves a lot to be desired but, considering this is only a demo; things could sound a hell of a lot worse. It’s all very agreeable, standard sounding doom, however, the harmonies within ‘Soul Scour’ hint that something much more interesting is yet to come when they finally put out a full length album. In the mean time though, whack up the volume and pretend you’re at Woodstock.

In traditional exclusive doom culture style; this will be available on a cassette via Spectrelight Recordings. However, for those who prefer their music in a more up to date package, Mordgrimm will be releasing this on digipack CD – copies are limited, so act fast to ensure you don’t miss out the progressive swampiness in all its glory.

(6/10 Angela Davey)