Mean, nasty, and psychedelically inclined: it's not the only way to do sludge, but few other alternatives offer what Kurokuma can. After numerous demos, splits, and EPs, the British sludge crafters are finally ready to release a full-length offering into the world—and Born of Obsidian is a hell of a debut. Strongly in touch with their hardcore, metal, and experimental influences alike and ready to dole out obliterating sludge fury, the album sees the band rolling out one chunky headbanger of a riff after another, but with an unusual angle of attack. Heavily inspired conceptually by Mesoamerican civilizations and making use of unconventional instruments and rhythms, not only is Born of Obsidian one of the most intense sludge releases you're likely to hear this year, it also sounds nothing like its competition. Cyclical, ritualistic motifs and intricate song structures take the listening experience to a higher level, where the body's weakness doesn't stand in the way of the mind getting absolutely thrashed by the album's scorching riff content. We're premiering one of the angrier, more punishing tracks on the record below—brace yourself for "Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli."

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"Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli" sort of sounds like an early Slayer song played at 17 RPM, and I could not be more pleased with that fact. As their slow-motion riffs tear flesh from bone, each passage in the track one-ups the previous one in terms of skull-piercing impact and searing heat, and the syncopated vocal lines play out on top like screamed atonal harmonies.. The final riff in the song arrives with a double-bass accompaniment that ratchets the intensity up again, somehow, presumably as the sacrifice the song describes takes place, and ends abruptly—like the victim's life. Sludge, as well as the death metal that this track leans slightly towards, is a "body music" genre, where the visceral impact is a major factor in its execution, and the song exemplifies that—it is always in motion, always violent, and urges the listener to be the same.

Joe Allen (drummer) comments:

"Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli" is about human sacrifice to the god of sun and war and the Templo Mayor. It was the last thing we wrote for the album when we wanted something faster and shorter than the rest of the eight minute tracks. People know us as a slow band, and while it still has our syrupy tone, this track isn't slow. It's more DM/PV to me. In the couple of shows we've had the chance to play this live the crowd were totally into it.

After the music had been written there was only one choice for lyrics here. Much of the album is Aztec-themed and we still hadn't covered human sacrifice. It's something I remember seeing in an encyclopedia at school, and I was hooked from then on. It was actually a central part of life. They believed if they stopped sacrificing the sun would stop in the sky and an eternal night would come. The direct and brutal nature of the words suited the death metal feel of this song and it makes the perfect second track on our album.

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Born of Obsidian releases February 4th independently through Bandcamp.

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Upcoming Kurokuma Live Dates:

  • Boston Music Room, London - 25th February 2022
  • Record Junkee, Sheffield - 26th February 2022
  • EBGBs, Liverpool - 27th February 2022

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