World Premiere: haarp – “The Blue Chamber Painted Red”

Some might call it “sludge”. Some might call it “doom”. I call it an uninterrupted string of bad-assery that left me slack-jawed – and I swim in this stuff every day. Not only was I going, “Goddamn, this is heavy”, I was also going, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!”

haarp may have just become one of “my” bands.

They could become one of yours, too. They are their own beast. This is crucial. No “Eyehategod did it first (and better)”, no dabblings in “psychedelia”, just a headfirst dive into the deep end of humanity. What you’ll find at the bottom ain’t pretty. haarp’s The Filth (Housecore, 2010) is what I call a “seeking Colonel Kurtz” record. (Steve Austin of Today Is the Day makes records like this. Godflesh’s Streetcleaner also comes to mind.) It’s a journey up the river towards some mythic enemy – oneself.

haarp – “The Blue Chamber Painted Red”

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Check out “The Blue Chamber Painted Red”. For its entire almost-nine-minute run, it twists and turns like a man trying to escape his doom. Not once does it get “proggy”. Not once does it get stuck in the “one note per minute” mire of “avant-garde doom”. It’s more like the ugly, slow cousin of death metal. (The way the vocals enter is very Obituary.) Shaun Emmons is a big surprise; one can understand much of what he’s saying. Clarity makes horror more horrifying. Shaun Emmons gives me the shivers.

The Filth comes out a week from today. You can hear samples of each song at Amazon. You can stream new song “All, Alone” here. You can order the record from Housecore (not now, but presumably then). haarp: no caps, all heavy. You have been warned.

— Cosmo Lee

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