how to make it immensely Heavy, Slow and Oppressive by the amazing UNDERSMILE
If it's already time to start thinking about 2011 "underground metal awards" , I think it's also time to think with delight about some awaited little jewels that 2012's soon gonna reveal... and one of them is "Narwhal" from UNDERSMILE, a female fronted sludge band that will crush your soul with no fuckin' mercy !!!
Coming from Oxford (UK) and formed in 2009, they are-Tom McKibbin on Drums, Olly Corona-Brown on Bass, Hel Sterne on Vocals and Lead Guitars,Taz Corona-Brown on Vocals and Guitar.
Yes, two girls on vocals and guitars, and despite their grungey look + extreme kindness, you'd better prepare yourself for some extremely dark and oppressive stuff that more than a bunch of guys couldn't even express, a kind of oustanding cross between THE MELVINS, SWANS, EYE HATE GOD and WINTER !
UNDERSMILE have actually released a debut ep in 2010 and a split ep with their post-core mates from CARETAKER (worth to listen to) just a few weeks ago; the debut "a sea of dead snakes" was honestly yet showing an obvious originality but maybe too shortly and easily summarized to the mere presence and place of both Hel and Taz, "undertaker" (the maliciously named split "ep") now presents 2 songs which show a real evolution towards something slower, thicker and definitely more oppressive too.
This is slightly more developped in terms of moods : more intense and dissonant, colder and gloomier too, while the fantastic vocals duo is more harmonious and reveal more melancholic tones. The extreme heaviness, coldness and slowness make me inevitably think about WINTER, like if UNDERSMILE would be for Sludge what WINTER is for Doom/Death... a band that magnifies the dark and painful through a crushing and beautiful aesthetic heaviness; I love bands like this who have a sincere faith and talent to combine pre-existing elements in a different manner.
I'm impatiently waiting to hear more from UNDERSMILE with “Narwhal” which was recorded this autumn at Studio 101 in Kidlington by Jimmy Hetherington and is currently in the hand of Billy Anderson (Eyehategod, Sleep, Neurosis, The Melvins) for mastering !!! The professionnal conditions will hopefully allow them to blew everything away and explode on the european sludge front ! You have been warned, due to be released on the 9th April by Future Noise (home of UFOMAMMUT, GRIFTER, CHARGER...) "Narwhal" will be one of the highlights of 2012 !!!