Tree of Sores - Tree of Sores
Witch Hunter
6 songs (32:54)
Release year: 2011
Tree of Sores, Witch Hunter
Reviewed by Charles
This is the first band I’ve reviewed from my adopted hometown of Leeds since the Zombie-themed thrash act Send More Paramedics. This is very different, though: Tree of Sores’s debut EP reveals clear debts to downbeat sludge acts from across the Atlantic, most obviously Neurosis or Isis, but it also has hints of a righteous crustiness reminiscent of closer-to-home legends like Amebix.

Tempos are generally kept slow, and the band rely heavily on gloomy atmospheric build-ups for most of the six tracks here. This can work really well. The instrumental Intro grabs you immediately, with its sinister, echoing lead guitar riff and sinkingly minimalist bassline interlocking beneath a mounting tide of abrasive feedback. God Theory climbs from a darkly understated riff into an oozing wall of hazy guitar crackle. The dual male-female vocals are effective, with the dour chanting that forms a chorus of sorts on Grave, for example, given an unsettling timbre by the juxtaposition of high and low-pitched yells. They give Tree of Sores a distinctive sound, almost a punkier take on the approaches of those bands mentioned above.

The EP doesn’t really deviate from this pattern. The most incongruous track here is Sandford, which opens with a pulsating guitar clanging, devolving gradually into a light and airy instrumental breakdown. Wisps of grievously detuned guitar twang lend the feel of an addled version of Pelican. Overall, this is an intriguing addition to the sludge scene.

Killing Songs :
God Theory, Grave
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