Metal Hammer (UK)

RONGEUR

- CONNIE GORDON

An Asphyxiati­ng Embrace

POACHER/AMPMANDENS Sludgy Nordic metallers straddle the desert and the swamp

When An Asphyxiati­ng Embrace starts with Weltschmer­z, the impression is that of a band wishing to tap into sludge/doom’s collapsed vein, but are afraid of calloused palms, dirty fingernail­s and growing proper beards. During the record’s second half, however, around the fourth song, Wellpisser, this Norse trio begin a demonstrat­ion of their ability to expand upon the often limited dimensions of sludge. Rongeur do more than just attempt lower, deeper and heavier moves towards brown-note guitar tones. Mr Hands incorporat­es some desert rockin’, muscle carpowered riff-o-rama, The Weight Of Guilt sounds like it’s strutting down a high street at the apex of NWOBHM’s popularity and the spidery note walks and accented, downpicked power chords of The Deconstruc­tionist offer an answer to the question: what if Eyehategod wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls? FOR FANS OF: HIGH ON FIRE, BLACK TUSK, KYLESA

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