Genkaku begins with a post-rock sludge fest, reminiscent of Red Sparrowes, turning the listener’s ear with a full frontal dive into ennui and ill-fated feeling. As opener “Smile” progresses, the song opens up with a broader assault on the senses, providing a preview of the sounds to come with a nod towards early Melvins (which makes sense, given its membership), while maintaining a unique take on sludge.
As the album progresses, there is a feeling of tragedy that pervades, warping and twisting every sound to give it a particular flavour of heavy. It’s able to brood without falling victim to the usual trope of assumed darkness or put upon heaviness, finding its handhold in places that resonate internally. Riffs are punishing, but also reflective. It’s a mirror in a forest under a night sky: the listener is invited to delve into something bleak and destructive, but if there is any humanity that reflects, it is whatever light comes from the listener themselves.
All this is to say that you could lose yourself in this album, you could fall victim to it, it will not hold its hand for you, it will not provide much solid ground. However, should you sink into the soundscape, it will gladly swallow you whole and allow you to germinate. Whether that is a good thing is entirely up to you. So go ahead and play “Virgin Witch”, let yourself reflect, even if it’s only a background piece, it will swallow up the light in your presence, and ask you one question: are you afraid of the dark?
Genkaku Track Listing:
03. Virgin Witch
04. Space Wizard
07. Sinister Waves
Run Time: 45:15
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Stream the full Genkaku album as soon as you can.