Taarkus - Stones
Rise Above
Stoner Doom
2 songs (9'59")
Release year: 2016
Rise Above
Reviewed by Alex

No sense in lying that very late 80s and early 90s were difficult days for me personally to follow metal. Those were the days when classic doom grabbed center stage, the hey moments of St Vitus, Cathedral, Trouble, The Obsessed and Pentagram. And those days passed me by. Only later, through the bands which were really 2nd generation, I got the notions of genre post-Black Sabbath forefathers and tracked back. Those 2nd generation collectives, at least some of them, were stoner tinged, lighter in tone, easier on the mood and certainly less heavy. But since they led me to the roots I kept the soft spot out for stoner doom, for keyboards and organ to play a significant role in doom metal. When bands like that are also female fronted (Jess and the Ancient Ones, The Devil’s Blood, bordering on occult rock), it makes it even more interesting.

Los Angeles Taarkus is one such band. They lay out unhurried repetitive rhythmic structures, and lace it with Hammond organ through and through. Lyrics not being mind boggling either, Stones is so 70s. The single's melodies are very easy on the ear and the female singer has a clear gentle voice. The presence of the flute is certainly a distinguishing factor and provides some novelty. This music - you either like it on the sound premises, or you don't. There are really no peaks and valleys, no culminations or huge developments. And while on this basis the title track wins, At Midnight does not. It is if someone told the band that brightness and clarity is no longer necessary. The levels are lower and everything is not crystal clear. If the title track is enjoying your candy straight up, then At Midnight is chewing on it through the wrapper. Some juices are flowing through, but it would be better to have it out.

Taarkus are a promising bunch, and comparisons with Catherdral are very valid, but they need to have consistent sound quality and more variation in their songs.

Killing Songs :
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