Raum Kingdom is a heavy prog-metal band, of sorts, from Ireland and has recently dropped their newest, self-released and self-titled EP. On a side note here, I may stop giving bands genres, I find it really difficult unless it’s painfully obvious and a lot of the time (to me), and it just feels pointless. Raum Kingdom released this album on the 15th Of April, for free and it just seemed a shame that I was aware of them (thank you Post Engineering) and not reviewing something they had the decency to release for free.
For a free album, you can tell that a lot of work has gone into this album. The production is solid; it’s grand and pleases my heavy bone (try saying that out loud and NOT laughing). I spent a lot of the time listening to this album thinking, ‘There’s gotta be some Old Man Gloom or Isis, inspirations going on here.’ Much to my dismay, I couldn’t find any information about inspirations online, although, in my opinion, it can sound very similar.
Unlike Isis, Raum Kingdom only has one guitarist and mange to create an expansive sound without the need for more guitars. I mean the track, Wounds, has this exceptional guitar hook that sounds big and memorable without requiring multiple guitars to double up the chords. It’s also impressive to see that the band can set up such a brooding atmosphere in such a short space of time. The band plods through the tracks at a snail’s pace, rarely accelerating to fast and heavy, but it works for the crushing experience this EP shoots for.
The vocals that lead singer, Dave Lee, are a moody and exceptional mix of cleans and some filthy screams and shouts; again, at times, strikingly similar to Aaron Turner of Isis. I think the best way to get to grips with the sort of vocals you can expect from these guys, is to listen to the track These Open Arms. It shows Lee’s differing vocal techniques and has a frickin’ heavy as fuck riff at the end.
There are moments during this EP where it would be nice to hear another guitar or something else plodding away in the darkness. Just to vary up the soundscape a bit. I think this is most obvious on the closer, This Sullen Hope, which is just short of 10 minutes long. This is in no way a bad thing and it doesn’t become dull, but some texturing could not go away at the mid ‘build-up’ point of the tune. That being said, Lee drops some ferocious vocals after this moment, so everything feels fine. Then there’s some sweet jamming between the band to see us on our merry way; all sludgy eyed. Fuckin’ nice.
As a whole Raum Kingdom’s debut EP is a killer that houses a plethora of sludge and darkly moments that will have you head banging and shouting for ‘one more’ at the end of every listen.