I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: I’m not the biggest sludge fan. I tend to find the genre as a whole a bit one-dimensional: slow, heavy, occasionally a bit druggy – going nowhere, and taking its time getting there.
There are exceptions to every rule, however, and Finnish quartet Lurk definitely qualify. I know the whole adage about not judging a book by its cover, but in the case of Lurk’s Fringe–which was originally released in 2016, but is getting a long-overdue physical release from Transcending Obscurity on August 5 (preorder here)–the art is actually a pretty good indication of what’s to be found inside. They’re a band that (metaphorically) uses a wider variety of colors in their songwriting than a lot of bands who play in a similar style.
In fact, no two songs on Fringe sound quite the same, even though they’re all clearly the product of the same band. Some are more melodic, some are more doom-influenced, and some have more of an atmospheric feel. On the most basic of levels, though, they all have the same DNA – and they come together to create one hell of an album.
Today we’re premiering “Nether,” the shortest and arguably heaviest song on Fringe. It’s certainly the most straightforward, as the riffs all seem to have the same prime directive: bludgeon. But even that bludgeoning comes from an angle you wouldn’t expect. In this case, “Nether” has a swing to it that reminds me of Muhammed Ali’s famous strategy of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” In other words, the song draws you in, and then it hits you with a right jab that puts your ass on the canvas. However, instead of seeing the usual birds or stars, the owl from the cover art will be flying circles around your head – and you’ll be in absolutely no hurry to get back up again.