The RMR deck crew loves the extraordinary. The tunes that sit outside of the vile mainstream. Those bands that push the boundaries towards galaxies unknown. And it don’t always need to be the smelly underbelly of the metal multiverse necessarily.
RockmusicRaider often also fancy relatively unknown bands and not only those with a gazillion records under their belts already. That is contrary to many reviewers, whose claim to fame resides solely with known bands.
The Greek horde INK has been sailing about the outskirts of our musical consciousness for quite a while. Not only have they just released Whispers of Calliope, but their 2016 full length record Loom kinda held our attention for a while. And this is astonishing in this volatile world of ours, given the ton of material delivered to our door every day.
Loom serves a wild and weird mix of Alternative and Progressive Rock and Metal. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden with a hint of Todtgelichter come to mind. And a lot of the darkness and – I daresay – some of the menace Moonspell usually exudes.
Ambient leading to serious chugging. Scratchy, downturned and strangely fuzzy faux-grunge displaying its prickly splendor. To top it, this all somewhat reminds me of industrial-strength NDH bands like Hanzel and Gretyl or again Eli Van Pike. All of that metal goodness comes with a highly accented English that surely cannot deny its Greek origins. Nor should it.
In a way, their tune makes me picture INK in the London underground scene. Or in Germany around Berlin for that matter. The places where smoky clubs dwell that will for sure sit well with this kind of style.
THIS is what I call standing out like a sore thumb from these mainstream jockeys.
Loom never quite loses this sense of pressure, this hint of urgency expressed in scratchy, honest undertones. And this beyond the dreaded mid-point, where albums often grow weak and obsolete.
To the contrary, INK managed to gain in fluidity during the second half of the track list. If anything, the theme becomes more pensive and progressive towards the end. More ambient elements and acoustics, less bouncing about the metal multiverse in search for steely delights. It is just delightful how Loom tones it down some. And presents quieter pieces like Little Story or the older track Ophelia. Whoever said that oldies cannot be goodies. Right?
So, in terms of coherence this all kind of fits. And you’ll get real stellar concoctions like Sell Me, once the crunch starts in earnest. Which all increases in power up to a pretty sturdy Violent Dope or Days of Storm.
Interestingly, the crew did realize that they were way out there on the left side of no-no land. Hence, INK injected Sirens and Persephone that will be pleasing to mainstream fan ears. And why am I not surprised that band and promoters specifically praise the former track as the one that got the cheese.
But it will just not do.
Sirens is a weak brew, no real sustenance to gain from that specific concoction. Persephone gets a few more brownie points, yet still this one just does not get near the more outstanding parts of Loom. But this is small potatoes, if we compare these tracks to the juicier parts of the album.
In the end, INK will convince with their candid and genuine approach to their music that takes no prisoners. The tasty mix of Alternative, Progressive and a hint of Psychedelic Metal on Loom is testament to that. True, this is not a style that the mainstream will easily digest. And we will even forgive them their foray onto paved roads, when the unbeaten paths loomed so alluringly. But this is and remains a good record. And we will continue to look out for this band.
So, for those out there wanting to explore something kinda outside of the known areas of the metal world, you might want to check out these Greek boys. They sport a relishable, tempting and truly fascinating tune. You may want to try some.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Facebook