Ireland’s Raum Kingdom have released a debut album that is quite the collection of surging epic, post-rock atmospherics. The sound is fat and Dave Lee (vocals) gets to ‘whoa’ over quite a lot of it (especially in opening track Summon). Lazy comparisons with Tool and Neurosis aside, Raum’s sound is inherently organic – like the musical equivalent of a slow-motion clip of a thorny bush growing wildly and throwing out new shoots and spikes all over the place. I really like it. Dig is a fine example of what the band do best; it’s heavy and Dave Lee gets to really rasp and grate his lyrics over the instrumentation provided by the rest of the band (Andrew Colohan, guitars; Ronan Connor, bass; and Mark Gilchrist, drums).
The album gives you the impression that these fellows have done the endless cycle of rehearsals and gigs which has resulted in a cohesion that is most apparent (yes, I know this is a recording but such is the power of my own imaginings). At mid-point Dig slows to a pause before getting all manic again and it would be easy to see this being reproduced in a live set to great effect.
The fifteen minute monster that is Winter features Mia Govoni and starts hideously discordant before settling into some more of that haunted twanging guitar work. The vocals almost veer into the screech of black metal at points, which is nice. Govoni’s voice is a splendid addition to the song and she howls like a spectre over the hammering riffs and acts as a nice counter-point to Lee’s desperate shrieks. Post-rock can often run the risk of disappearing up its’ own meanderings but Raum Kingdom have clearly learnt to dig their heels in and refuse to slide into an excessive state of self-conscious shoe/navel-gazing”.
Walk With Reality, the especially excellent Rebuilding The Bridge, and Hidden Pain are all great tunes – but I will offer a warning; if you’re not paying proper attention these tunes (and indeed, the entire album) will whip by before you know it. During several listens to Everything and Nothing, I regularly zoned out, only to be drawn back in by a particularly pleasing vocal line, riff or drum pattern. This isn’t so much a criticism of the band’s work, more a reflection of the ease of familiarity that this album breeds.
Final track Struggle puts the album to bed nicely with a delightful ambient intro before going all proper mental. Again, it eases off about mid-point before all nuts again. Indeed, perhaps my only concern is there’s a risk of repetition with the song structures but the quality is undeniable, and I look forward to hearing what these gents put out next.
Everything and Nothing is out now.