Transcending Obscurity records is the home for German Sludge/Doom duo Eremit’s debut, Carrier of Weight. Damn is there some weight held within. 68 mins of metal spread haphazardly over just three tracks. This is not doom for the light hearted or those with a deficit of attention. Once strapped in you are in for the long haul and the doors and windows are locked. I know the cabin filled with smoke but what did you expect? Breathe deep. It’ll be OK!

“Dry Land” at 23 and half minutes is built around a single 4 note riff with a couple of minor changes along the dark forest path.  Marco Baecker’s drums and cymbals are crystal clear above the distorted bass and guitars of Moritz Fabian who also provides the tortured vocals – imagine Jon Tardy on mogadon.  This is music to immerse yourself in, to give time to and to put down the GPS and be willing to get lost in. If repetition is not your bag then you are on the wrong tour baby.  Eremit pound the message home like a Neanderthal bashing out the brains of a rival. Slowly, surely, effectively. Watching the life’s blood and cranial fluids drain into the rock.

After such an opening “Froth is Beckoning” almost feels like Grindcore at 11 minutes 22 seconds. It pounds in at a far greater pace, one that you could headbang to without onlookers thinking you were on half speed.  There is a spacey feel to the vocals here which along with the pounding riffs brings to mind recent efforts by Ruins of Beverast filtered through Moss. Things soon slow back to a fast crawl – a shame as I was enjoying the sense of “urgency”.  There is some crunchy groove within to keep EHG fans happy – the bass is particularly bayouesque.

The final track is longer than Reign in Blood.  I could walk to work and back and just about hear it in its entirety.  It opens with what could be the creaking of a ship of maybe the straining of an epic cocoon. What follows is a bit of a marathon listen. There is plenty within the 33 minutes to pique interest (is that Faith by the Cure playing in the background at one point?) but there is an awful lot of broth filling out the meat and veg of this sludgy soup.  Some big riffs and some roars of voice that make me jump due to the soporific sections that preceded them.  However, I found my patience wearing thin – but not emaciated. Around the 17 and half minute mark there is a particularly gnarly section that grabbed my nether regions and stopped me doom nodding into oblivion.  By the thirtieth minute Eremit have gone full Black Metal – what the fuck! Then the energy is finally drained as the album ebbs away to evaporate into the ether.

As is to be expected from my advice at the beginning of this review, Carrier of Weight is more enjoyable when the listener immerses themselves fully into the experience. The less I try and review the thing the more I enjoy it. Try and break it into its constituent parts and it appears lumpen and overstuffed – too many ingredients in the broth. However, this is to be tasted wholeheartedly and with gusto to be appreciated.  Although I do feel a little bloated at the end of this feast.

(6.5/10 Matt Mason)