The first sound you’ll hear upon hitting ‘play’ on The Great Tired Ones, the debut EP from Polish blackened doom outfit Loathfinder, is the droning buzz of a swarm of flies.
Now if that’s not a mission statement, then I don’t know what is.
However, descriptors like ‘fetid’ or ‘putrid’ aren’t the first things that come to mind once opener “Genetic Gloom” kicks into gear. For starters, the production is a bit too clean to really give it that ‘un-fresh from the cemetery’ feeling. And instead of having a strong old-school Autopsy or Asphyx, the riffs take at least some of their cues from the great Peaceville Three. In fact, I hear a lot of Gregor Mackintosh (Paradise Lost, Vallenfyre) in the guitars: heavy and aggressive, but never losing that melancholic sense of melody that provides the foundation for it all.
Still, it’s not like The Great Tired Ones is what anyone would call a ‘pretty’ record. But it definitely leans closer to the doom end of the spectrum than the blackened end, which is totally fine by me because Loathfinder have the riffs to pull it off. Just consider the song “Feast on My Entrails” as an example. At nearly seven minutes in length, it’s the sort of track that could easily drag if the songwriting isn’t up to par. Thanks to a killer batch of riffs, though, it’s probably the highlight of the EP with the way it alternates between a more melodic verse section and a slower, heavier chorus. The brief double-time bridge section near about halfway through the song almost has a stoner metal vibe about it, and provides a nice contrast to the rest of the riffs in the track.
Unfortunately, the other lengthy track on the EP, the nine-and-a-half minute closer “The Great Tired Ones,” doesn’t hold up quite as well, and is probably the only misstep on the record. The ‘creepy sound effect’ intro feels about twice as long as it needed to be, especially since the track as a whole is of the ‘slow burner’ variety. There are some cool moments in the song, like the extended guitar solo, but it kind of struggles to gain the necessary momentum to sustain its length.
Still, for a debut effort from a relatively new band, there’s a lot to be impressed by here. Loathfinder has a lot of potential, and I’m curious to see how they develop and refine their sound on their next release. In the meantime, this EP is definitely well worth checking out.
The Great Tired Ones is now available from Godz ov War Productions.