Some records stick around in our heads after we listen to them, demanding further processing and/or re-listens to really work out what we just experienced. Others almost seem to cement themselves in the brain, latching on with supernatural persistence. That's where Choir's debut album Songs for a Tarnished World sits: a record full of choking blackened doom that arrives in vile luxury and feels abhorrently wet. Sinking into the record is a given; the challenge is staying afloat–and even then, diving in again seems like the logical next step.

A murky, gurgling onslaught of vocals and guitars keeps a chokehold on the listener while multiple layers of noise crash and coalesce underneath: these interlocking textures are like a rattling pipeline of nails and scrap metal that bears listeners along toward each waypoint. While a lot of Songs for a Tarnished World flexes Choir's muscular tremolo riffs and powerfully chaotic drumming, the record devotes plenty of time toward crafting tension, too. The album closes out with "Caravan and Swarm," a prime example–an eerie field-recording-like ambience steadily grows in discontent and volatility while mutating into an imposing combination of doom and black metal. There's no real peace to be found within Songs for a Tarnished World, only foreshadows of upcoming tragedy.



Simon of Total Dissonance Worship, the band's label, comments:

When we heard CHOIR's album opener for the first time, we were spellbound. The massive wall of sound, disgustingly grainy distortion and shattering crawl of the drums put us in a satisfyingly dark place, that we didn't manage to escape from until the album was over.

CHOIR lands in this space of atonal Death Metal that is reminiscent of Portal, but the project also brings the sludgy, discordant heft of a band like Primitive Man to the table. Either which way, this is the sound of nightmares... and we all know the worst nightmare of all: Reality.


Songs for a Tarnished World releases Friday via Total Dissonance Worship.

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