Dullest Records

ROZAMOV - this mortal road LP

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The title track gets things off to a deliciously heavy start. There’s no pretentious buildup: the curtain rises and Rozamov lurch directly into crushing doom, as if delivering body blows with a maul. Heavy and plodding, yes, but with a distinct sense of melody as well. One-third of the way through the eleven-minute epic the rhythm section takes a break, letting Matt Iacovelli play a speaker-rattling progression on his guitar, along with what sounds like pops and static from a record player in the distant background. “Wind Scorpion” is even heavier and slower, almost Electric Wizard-like in its intensity, with unnatural stops between lines of verse, and layers of feedback-drenched guitars. The trio is musically impressive, with Will Hendrix laying down a thundering foundation on the drum kit and Tom Corino maintaining an impressive rumble on bass throughout.

Iacovelli and Corino share vocal duties, one with clean, anguished vocals, the other with harsh howls inspired by bands from Acid Bath to Neurosis. While neither would stand out in a battle of doom singers, they don’t detract from the songs at all. I can’t tell you who sings what songs, but the variety does make up for the pacing of the music, which borders on monotonous. “This Mortal Road” features clean singing, sounding as if the vocalist is in the background, while “Wind Scorpion” features harsh vocals, and “Serpent Cult” a mix of the two. “Swallowed and Lost,” the two-minute interlude, is a disturbing piece, acoustic guitar and piano playing a somber, haunting arrangement while unsettling voices mutter unintelligibly in the background. It’s a haunting break from the crush of the main songs, a brief respite before album closer “Inhumation” winds its way through nearly a dozen minutes of bleak hopelessness. ( angyrmetalguy)