|The Anthems Of Dread
Ketch is a quintet coming from Arvada, CO that plays rotten and heavy Sludge/Doom Metal as the genre's dogma says. Band's story begins in 2014 with the publication of its first, eponymous EP, which's been followed a couple of years later by "The Anthems Of Dread". The disc I'm holding in my hands right now sums up everything said before, being it a reprint of the first album which the EP's tracks have been added to; definitely a fine piece of work worth to be bought for both its content and its aspect (a nice opaque-finished, 6-panel digipack).
For those who listen to this band for the first time, as I did, it'd be better starting off from the last, oldest tracks: both sounds and arrangements of those 2014 songs aren't that far from the more recent ones and, despite there's still some immaturity inside the older titles, stuff's quality is high enough to let me be hopeful about what's coming right after.
The "The Anthems Of Dread"-block is made of six songs and lasts almost forty minutes in which the listener is dragged to acoustic landscapes full of distended riffs, marked rhythms and voices that sometimes are screams full of desperation, sometimes get guttural and obscure instead. Moreover, the compositions are well combined: they don't lack the extreme slowdowns, somehow obligatory as we speak of Doom ("En Nomine Eius"), as much as they don't lack earthquakeish outburst, that almost cause Ketch to become Post-Metal (for example the ending of "The Monsters Of This World"). In between these two poles of unwholesome sensitivity, we have the chance to admire everything a Sludge album should ever be: drums played as heavily as if there's no tomorrow and well structured riffs within which some guitar soloing fits perfectly. The next-to-last "Estranged", with its alienating, almost disturbing shape, leads to the very final one, the longest off the track-list, in which the bass is deservedly highlighted more than once, accompanying us to the struggling, suffered end of the disc.
In conclusion, "The Anthems Of Dread" is an album that doesn't miss its main goal, not even of an inch, which makes you listening to it over and over again. Indeed a must for the ones who love the above mentioned sounds and definitely suggested to everyone else. I'll be impatiently waiting for the next discographic chapter of these five Americans.