This half-hour dip into the doom-soaked, post-metal world of Anglo-Irish upstarts Raum Kingdom provides us with a brief glimpse of their combined passions for the music of Tool and Cult Of Luna. Much of the EP here is reliant on pounding out thick walls of dissonance and roaring vocal but this down-tuned, crushing doom comes infused with some interesting progressive anomalies.
Setting their stall out early with a couple of simply-constructed, similarly-toned, head-bobbers (one rampant, one more sedentary) is nothing new to fans of this kind of forlorn doom-mongering but throwing a third bitch-slap in the same approximate key just to show off a new trick is rather over-egging the pudding. Created to impose their love of a good apoplectic rant, the anti-“I have a dream…” speech that constitutes “Cross Reference” rather renders the preceding track (the comparatively dull, unoriginal “Barren Objects”) somewhat redundant.
It’s also a bit of a shame that when the vocals drop below a roar they do begin to get lost in the mix; the whole becoming weak and undefined. You have to completely submerge yourself in this music to locate much of it, so a decent rip and sound system will be required here. Most certainly it is worth the effort to catch the potential housed inside the monstrous bruisers “Wounds” and “These Open Arms”. Here, the impassioned barks of “These wounds are all for you” and “Where… are… you?” demand repetition – they could be live gems those. Correspondingly, the final track, “This Sullen Hope”, where the vocal lifts to mid-range and rises to create sweet melody, is just glorious. A fair comparison would be to those abundantly volatile, heart-breaking sounds being tossed around by loveable Belgian game-changers Steak Number Eight at the moment – I can think of no finer complement to give than that.
Several bits to rave about, a few bits to keep quiet about then. Any future album will sure make for an interesting listen.
(7/10 John Skibeat)