Rozamov
This Mortal Road
(Battleground Records/Dullest Records)

After releasing a handful of EPs and splits since 2012, it would seem as if Boston’s Rozamov’s have found their own special brand of sprawling, brooding doom with their debut full-length, This Mortal Road.

These New England doomsayers have been traversing the waters of doom metal in a familiar, yet unique way, bringing  elements of sludge metal, stoner metal and dismal psychedelia along with them. This Mortal Road showcases a glorious refinement of this trio’s subtly multifaceted sound, unleashing down-tuned destruction and hypnotic repetition across 40 lumbering minutes.

The record is bookended by two massive compositions that include its title track and “Inhumation”. During the first few seconds of “This Mortal Road”, listeners will be tricked into believing that the track will be a standard doom metal number with its bellowing, Sabbathian sludge. But the track throws one stylistic curveball after the other as these slow-burning, hazy-eyed riffs open up into spiraling melodies and atmospheric splendor. The doom and gloom eventually dissolves into a lengthy bridge of cascading melodies, subterranean low-end and steady, pummeling drum work before reaching its climax of city-leveling chords.

Album closer “Inhumation” follows a similar tension-and-release method during its nearly 12-minute duration. The track features a tug-o-war between thunderous chaos and jagged, malformed riffs that lie on the cusp between malevolent dissonance and hypnotic melody. After several minutes of leviathanic sludge and crushing atmospherics, the song comes to a close with a insurmountably heavy, repetitious doom march that instills feelings of claustrophobia and impending destruction within the listener.

The meat of the record is comprised of three shorter tunes titled “Wind Scorpion”, “Serpent Cult” and “Swallowed and Lost”. “Wind Scorpion” and “Serpent Cult” are very consistent with the rest of the record, employing the band’s penchant for menacing licks and repetitive sludge assaults. In contrast, however, “Wind Scorpion” deals out more stoner groove and swagger, while “Serpent Cult” delivers more dissonant dirges. This leads into the penultimate track “Swallowed and Lost”; a two-minute soundscape interlude consisting of intermittent acoustic guitar strums, doomed piano melodies, hollow ambiance and indistinct spoken word.

Perhaps the one negative to this otherwise solid doom metal record are its use of clean vocals. In between harsh, throat-searing screams, the band deliver wailing vocal harmonies that are bit one-dimensional and slightly grating in places. But despite this one nitpick, Rozamov have delivered a behemoth-sized doom/sludge record that will greatly appease fans of the genre(s). Though it is hard to predict where this three-piece will end up, this record definitely seems like a step in the right direction.

Purchase the album here: Battleground Records | Dullest Records

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