“You will be surprised by our next album mate! It Is NOTHING like anything else we have done. In fact, it is almost a 180 in comparison to Herb!”

These were the words of Paul Swarbrick, guitarist and tone monster of Boss keloid, back at HRH II stoner vs. Doom in October 2017. After a couple of months waiting, We finally see if his statement is true. In two simple and short, sweet words: it is.

To expand this further, you only have to Look back and listen to their previous releases. “Angular Beef Lesson” and “The Calming Influence Of Teeth” Were more crunchy, wild and eccentric stoner-groove sounding releases and the crushingly heavy “Herb Your Enthusiasm” was a Doom monster of titanic proportions. “Melted On The Inch” instead takes some of Herb’s colossal power and mixes it with a huge dose of schizoid-psychedelic. In short, it’s like King Crimson (but not shite!) meets mammoth riffs; 42 minutes of exotic sounding, mind melting, introspective and hypnotic proggy-doom!

Opening track “Chronosiam” comes straight out of the blocks with the raw power Keloid are known for. A brief exotic melody swells in presence before becoming a tidal-wave of riffs and vocals. The heavy tone of the guitars and bass works wonderfully with the proggy organ lines and the shuffling tempo of the music and lyric flow compounds the hypnotic spirit of the schizo-prog. Soaring choruses, thundering intense sequences and dynamic overlapping melodic progressions, it’s all incredibly complex and this is just the first track! “Tarku shavel” is more restrained initially. Favouring the clean verse, bellowing and loud chorus format initially, it is less complex than the previous track but maintains the subtle atmospheric manipulation through the exotic organ melodies and guitar lines.

“Peykruve” is the first single from the release and has been widely praised by many media outlets, and rightly so. Again, it is a subtle blend of clean and crushing sections cocooned in an exotic, hazy melody with intricate and oddly hypnotic percussive elements. It is a good synopsis and taster for what this release has to offer… But it isn’t the highlight of the album. That belongs to “Jromalih”, the powerhouse of this record! Exotic and intricate percussive effects shift towards a rich and warm bass driven groove which forms the core spine of the track. The trippy effects of the organ lines and the clean melodies which give way to crunchy gain and bone shaking distorted walls of power and the vocals are superb – subtle yet flowing with warmth when clean before switching to raw, emotion driven shouts which help the overall atmosphere. It’s up there with the type of things Tool can deliver!

“Lokannok” has a more old school groggy feel to it. Think the likes of King Crimson and Genesis in the terms of the structure and flow, but undeniably modern doom influenced. Again the exotic clean melodies and deep rumblings of the bass form the core attack of the track, allowing the organ lines and vocals to provide the intricate melodic lead voicing and flavourings to the track which like the previous track, is another powerhouse packed full of raw emotion and hypnotic passages. Closing the album is “Griffonbrass”. This track opens with a haunting acoustic guitar which piles on the atmospheric impact before it quickly shifts into a huge assault of powerfully delivered riffs and vocals. Reminiscent of their earlier work, but with this current musical approach, the track is a perfect example of how Boss Keloid have evolved their sound but stayed true to what makes them so unique amongst their peers.

In all, “Melted On The Inch” is a fine example of a band who constantly push their approach to making music, constantly evolving their sound but remaining easily identifiable. From crushing doom to progressive rock laden sequences, oddly hypnotic and angular yet delivered with ease, Boss Keloid have delivered one of the essential releases of 2018.

(9.5/10 Fraggle)