ALBUM REVIEW: Lightsucker ‘Zammal’

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LIGHTSUCKER
‘Zammal’
(Argonauta Records, March 2016)
5.5/10

Lightsucker’s misguided stoner sludge rock flits between brief spurts of lightweight grooviness and tortured deathly trudge. ‘Zammal’ is a bit of bewildering jumble at times, never settling into a routine or pattern. And while that might be a good thing if the music was original and fascinating, sadly it is rarely either.

There are a few highlights along the way, a handful of addictive riffs that get the air vibrating. ‘All Out Reset’ has a certain bristling quirkiness and power, while ‘Sulfur & Jimson Weed’ is a miniature blast of fun. But ultimately the net result from these Finnish rockers is pretty underwhelming.

The vocals fluctuate from clean and flimsy to raw and rancid, with neither style being especially convincing. It seems that, true to its name, the band has sucked the light and life out of various genres, resulting in a barrage of largely derivative and heartless material. Even the album’s vague and impersonal artwork reflects the uncertainty of the music.

The track ‘Aesthetics Of Emptiness’ sums up the story of ‘Zammal’, opening with doomy glory, introducing some intriguing touches (ie. creepy whistling) and then descending into generic stoner fare. If the idea was to follow Orange Goblin and draw upon numerous influences to create some metal mayhem, then it has not quite worked out that way. Many of Lightsucker’s ideas are great, but they have not been bound together or forged into a focused whole.

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