Slow and tepid, like a beast emerging from the murky depths of the pestilent tarn, Jagged Mouth play doom with blackened vocals in a way that suggests hell is not best represented by blastbeats and hyperion riffs. Instead, they keep the tempos suitably lurching throughout their new release Louring. The guitars send downtuned riffs rooted on the sixth string echoing throughout the denigrating cosmos. Not to be confused with melancholia typical of more popular doom bands like Loss and Evoken, Jagged Mouth play tense, terse power chord bombast that sends the walls caving in, and does so with inspired loathing for all things placid. Louring sounds like a point in a soul’s stay in hell and damnation when the realization comes that eternity can wait for as long as eternity holds sway, and that there is no recourse but to lose hope. Louring sounds like man’s will breaking, splintering and deteriorating into utter disconsolation.
When the gritty downtuned guitar plays the first few notes, the listener is thrust into abyssic worlds. Harsh realms with boiling magma shooting out of the ground to scald hordes of the suffering, Jagged Mouth paints a portrait of post-apocalyptic armaggedon, keeping the riffs minimalist and funeral doom slow in contrast with bands typically compared with playing music suitable for a hellish scenario. This is a good study into just what sound may typify hell on earth, and if I had my say, I wouldn’t resist naming Jagged Mouth’s Louring as an adequate example of funeral doom as a post-apocalyptic soundtrack for mankind’s unfortunate survivors.
It really does sound like a Moog synthesizer is layered into the wall of sound on Louring. What added noise makes for bubbling discordant bass can only be a plus for any listener intent on celebrating his own descent into darkness, but the effect on the wall of sound is the addition of sludge to the band’s soundscape and style. Like a step into a marsh sending you waist deep into muck, doom lovers will like Louring for its simple but innovative approach to doom metal. The blackened vocals are also an added treat, mixing unintelligible rasping with occasional hoarse shrieking that complements the band’s penchant for depicting slow decay and decomposition in sound.
The slow-plucked notes to start the fifth and last track on Louring are another welcome detail. It’s so eerie it could make a good soundtrack for a horror movie. If Jagged Mouth adds similar segments throughout their future releases, they would infuse much-needed atmosphere to their repertoire – besides adding more interesting sections to the instrumentation utilized thus far.
There really is no other way to compare this experience to anything but anarchic armaggedon. Most people might agree that hell burns slow and steady. Suffering is worse when it occurs in slow-mo. So, check out this release if funeral doom makes you imagine coastal scenes with liquid fire and bottomless trenches, with souls writhing whilst in the midst of chanting sulfurous prayers. Even the riffs that snake up the fretboard at times, tremolo-picked and echoing like a siren signaling the advent of a nuclear attack, sounds immersive and effective for all moods nostalgic for mass genocide. Try this out for size. Blackened doom fans will even love the occasional Eyehategod groove on tap. Hang your gossamer psyche out to dry with Jagged Mouth’s Louring blaring from the massive speakers. Your neighbors might finally have justifiable cause to complain about a breach in noise ordinance.